At first glance you dear reader would think I am perhaps doing a review of some new Baywatch type series full of babes and sand, however to my comic horror this is the name adopted by the newest menace on the face of this earth Somalian Pirates.
Piracy has been a problem in Somalia for the last 10 years, however with the total collapse of the central government there and general lawlessness the entire coastal passage of the gulf of aden is now more or less in the control of pirates. Till lately they were a minor irritant for international shipping vessels and naval fleets consisting of crude attempts to board ships and demand ransom for their return but as of late the pirates have not just gotten good they have become perfect at what they do.
From the tip of the iceberg which is the hawala system funding these pirate gangs on shore to the negotiators carrying fancy laptops all the way to london which sometimes even collect the ransom payments Somalians particularly of a coastal town known as Eyl have turned a petty pastime into a booming and thriving black industry. The attacks are carried out from “Mother ships” basically large sea faring vessels that can travel out in the water for days at end and carry sophisticated speedboats and armaments which the pirates then use to board vessels. According to BBC reports just last year pirates in this region collected 30 million dollars quietly as the owners of billions worth of shipping cargo and vessel paid to have their ships released.
This has resulted in Eyl becoming a sort of a haven for these young men who drive fancy cars have the latest wife’s and gadgets and are becoming shockingly acceptable in Somali society. Why wouldn’t they? They have money to throw around and not just that they spend but in an economy like Somalia’s they are the new elite. This is not all by the way as these buccaneersÂ just hit the mother lode.Â Last week they captured a Saudi Oil tanker carrying 100 million worth of black gold.
As per last reports a multinational company specializing in ransom talks is negotiating for the state of Saudi Arabia with the pirates who have asked for 25 millions dollars to let the ship go. Basically they are over the moon with what they have gotten in their laps and now want to treat this as the mother of all deals. Imagine what the amount whatever it is will fetch these pirates in weapons and hi tech boats, we could see the rise of a pirate army here looting a passageway through which 30% of the worlds oil travels.
Personally I think the Saudis being looted is quite ok, after all they have been doing the same to me ever since i first drove up to the gas station. The western reaction to this new threat is the same “Al Qaeda” “Al Qaeda” is all they can scream, how novel eh? Hint millions of dollars in earnings does not mean religious fundamentalists,Â just your everyday opportunists. Ho hum expect U.N to pass resolutions impose sanctions and hummers landing in somalia to git them suckers.
The skull and the crossbones has made a return to the high seas mateys argggghh!!!