Modern Pirates In Somalia with Somali Pirate Images

Holiday in Somalia, Africa, are you sure ?

Modern Pirates in Somalia, machete carrying blood thirsty killers, who do not think twice about shooting victims in the head.

These Somalian Pirates are the modern day version of Blackbeard, the worlds most notorious pirate. Difference being he was considered a gentleman compared to the murderous Somalia pirates that are in the news nearly every week.

Going on holiday or vacation to the continent of Africa can be life threatening.

Somalia Pirates operate out of Somalia, a country stricken with civil unrest and war which began in 1991.

Gun law rules many parts of Somalia, with interim governments attempting to bring the country back to its former glory. A task which over the last decade has proved to be only somewhat successful.

Although there is a long way to go, as police forces can be bribed, justice officials can turn the other cheek for a price, and the pirates have their own law to abide to, the law of piratering.



Somalian Pirates plan an Attack
Somalian Pirates plan an Attack

Why are Pirates, Pirates ?

Some Somalian Pirates claim that they took up piracy as a means to feed their families once fish stocks had virtually disappeared from their coastal waters because of foreign ships dumping toxic waste into the waters and illegal fishing.

Others say that since the demise of their local coast guard, they were just protecting their waters around the coast and even called themselves the National Volunteer Coast Guard, trying in some way to legalise their own pirate group.

Other pirate groups, of which there are very many, just want the money that it can bring. It is alleged that certain government officials back groups of pirates. The main reason why pirates are pirates, and have always been pirates, is for the money. People on vacations in Africa have been kidnapped and killed by Somalian pirates.

Somalia Location

Somalia is located in South Eastern Africa, just a few kilometers off the coast of Yemen and Saudi Arabia, threateningly imposing over the entrance to the Suez Canal.

RPG, a pirates fearsome weapon
RPG, a pirates fearsome weapon

Somalian Pirates Weapons

 There is no main weapon for a Somalian Pirate, they will use anything they can buy on the open market or steal. Many carry the world famous AK47, usually old Russian weapons, some have RPGS ( Remote Propelled Grenades ) Uzi machine guns are very cheap on the black market, and once a Pirate gang is organised, they can buy more or less which ever weapon they want. Many carry machetes, long Rambo style knives and clubs of some description, as well as their fire arms.

Well Financed, well armed
Well Financed, well armed

Somalian PIrate Profits

Please note, this is only alleged information. Many of the pirate groups are financed by bigger players, people with money, possibly also human traffickers and drug runners. Once a ships ransom has been paid, these financiers can receive a share of about 30% of the ransom.

The local elders or leaders of a coastal town will receive a small share, for allowing the stolen ship to be anchored there. And the smaller players in the group, which can include interpreters, lookouts and guards on the land, can receive between $10,000 and $20,000 each. A small portion of the ransom may be paid to people who have helped transport the hostages, fed them, and negotiated on behalf of the Somalian pirates. And some may go to local police or officials.

The rest is divided between the actual people involved in the hijack of the vessel. There can be as many as forty to fifty people involved in all aspects of hijacking a ship, including the crew of a Somalian mother ship, which is a large boat which the pirates use as a sea base.

Hijacked Ships

Since civil war began in Somalia in 1991, Somali pirates have been hijacking ships, some smaller vessels have not been reported hijacked for what ever reason and have since vanished with their crew and passengers. Here are some of the ocean going vessels that Somali Pirate groups have hijacked.

Year 
Flag 
Type  / Cargo
Ransom Pad
2005 
Honh Kong
Liquid Gas 
$315,000 
 
Ukraine
Coal 
$700,000 
2006 
India
Coal 
None, Pirates Captured 
2007
Grenaldines
UN Food aid
Unknown 
 
Taiwan
Fish
$1.5 million 
 
South Korea
Fishing Vessel
 Unknown
 
Tanzania
Fishing Vessel
Hijackers Repelled 
 
Denmark
Unknown
$1.5 million 
 
Greece
Unknown
 Unknown
 
Japan
Chemical Tanker
$1 million 
 
Comoros
General Cargo
 Unknown
 
North Korea
Unknown
 Hijackers Repelled
2008
Russia
Cargo
$700,000 
 
France
Luxury Yatch
 Unknown
 
Spain
Empty
770,000 euros 
 
United Arab Emirates
Unknown
Unknown  
 
United Arab Emirates
Unknown
 Unknown
 
Netherlands
Oil Platform
 Hijackers Repelled
 
German
Unknown
$750,000 
 
Japan
Bulk Carrier
$2 million 
 
Singapore
Unknown
 Hijackers Repelled
 
Thailand
Plywood
Unknown  
 
Nigeria
Unknown
Unknown  
 
Malaysia
Palm Oil
$2 million 
 
Germany
Unknown
$1.1 million 
 
Japan
Unknown
$1.5 million 
 
Iran
Mined Minerals
 Unknown
 
Malaysia
30,000 tons chemicals
$2 million 
 
France
Empty
$1 million 
 
Panama
Unknown
Unknown  
 
South Korea
Unknown
Unknown  
 
Hong Kong
Oils and chemicals
$2.5 million 
 
Denmark
Unknown
 Hijackers Repelled
 
Greece
Salt
 Unknown
 
Greece
Coal
 Unknown
 
Ukraine
33 Soviet T-72 Tanks
$3.2 million 
 
Liberia
Chemical Tanker
Unknown 
 
Panama
Cement
 Hijackers Repelled
 
Panama
Chemical Tanker
Unknown 
 
Panama
Bulk Carrier
$2 million 
 
Turkey
Iron Ore
Unknown 
 
Bahamas
Unknown
$2 million 
 
Philipines
Chemical Tnaker
Unknown
 
India
Bulk Carrier
Hijackers Repelled
 
Arabia
Cargo Ship
Hijackers Repelled
 
Denmark
Cargo Ship
Hijackers Repelled
 
Turkey
Chemical Tanker
Unknown
 
China
Fishing Vessel
Unknown
 
Panama
Chemical Tanker
Unknown
 
Arabia
Oil Tanker
$15 million
 
Yemen
Steel
$2 million

Hijackings in 2009 / 2010

In 2009, Somalian Pirates hijacked 81 ships, including 4 oil tankers and received over $71 million in ransom payments, 3 of these ships and their crew are still being held captive and negotiations are apparently underway for their release.

In 2010, 21 ships have so far been hijacked, five of which have not yet been released, and ransoms paid have not be made known yet

* Information as of September 2010

Hijacked Oil Tanker
Hijacked Oil Tanker

It is estimated that so far since 2005, Somalian pirates have been paid over $150 million a year to release the ships and the crews that have been hijacked, the cargo of the ships is estimated to be worth somewhere in the region of $1 Billion, but this will never be substantiated, as some countries will never release details of what certain ships were carrying.

Many arms shipments, as well as drugs and other illegal cargoes, come through the Suez Canal, with ships carry flags of countries which they are not legally registered in.

French Justice

In 2008, when a French Yacht was hijacked, the ransom was paid for the release of the crew and the passengers. Once they were safely away from the hijackers, the French version of the Navy Seals, chased the hijackers through Somalia and captured them, taking them back to France to stand trial for kidnap, extortion, and hijacking.

Many pirates have been killed on failed attempts to hijack ships, as have crew and passengers, but for the pirates, the reward far out weighs the risks involved.

American troops handing over pirates
American troops handing over pirates

World Navies Converge on Somalian Waters

Most countries of the world who have been a victim of the Somalian pirates, have sent Destroyers and Frigates to protect the shipping lanes leading to and from the Suez Canal.

This has resulted in the drop in 2010 in the number of ships being hijacked. But it has not stopped the pirates completely. Many pirate attacks occur in broad daylight, and sophisticated radar aboard the navy vessels can detect the pirates skiffs ( speed boats ) and instantly they are detected, helicopters and power boats full of soldiers are sent to intercept them. Many pirates do not make it back home, or some will toss their weapons overboard so there is no evidence of wrong doing, and will be freed after questioning.

Hundreds of attacks on oil tankers, cargo ships and even cruise liners with hundreds of passengers have occurred, but the crew have managed to hold them off or chase them away until help arrives.

Spanish troops prepare to take on Somalian Pirates
Spanish troops prepare to take on Somalian Pirates
Dutch Frigate near Somalian Waters
Dutch Frigate near Somalian Waters
Turkish Troops capture pirates
Turkish Troops capture pirates
Caught
Caught
Dutch troops board hijacked container ship
Dutch troops board hijacked container ship
Frigate escorting cruise ship
Frigate escorting cruise ship
Well armed pirates preparing for a raid
Well armed pirates preparing for a raid

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Comments 4 comments

Fireboss 5 years ago

Wow.

That's a really harsh story i really feel sorry about there manyt victoms!

LOL


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Harsh times. All the best!


billericky profile image

billericky 6 years ago from Manchester Author

Hello Mr Happy,

I agree, and in that situation, I may be drawn into doing something similar fo feed my family.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

The problem lies in the fact that as you wrote Somalia has not had a functioning government since the early ninties. Poverty, lack of opportunity and resources drives people to crime. In the case of Somalia it is piracy. If we are to look at Nigeria, the attacks are focused on oil companies such as Shell.

The poor are not going starve watching ships full of supplies roll by in Somalia just as the Nigerians cannot allow Shell to drain their natural resources making billions of dollars in profit while they live in slums.

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