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Pirate Exchange

F T L
2 minute read

A pirate organization has come together in Haradhere, a small coastal town in Somalia in 2009. They created an exchange so people can invest in criminal activity. They hunt the waters of the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden, which links Europe to Asia through the Red Sea.

They have arranged themselves into “companies”, originally starting with 15 of them in the exchange. Since then, that figure has ballooned to 72. The companies have made millions, lately charging about $4 million for a ransomed ship, up from $2-3 million before the investments took off. In a Reuters article, one of the leaders of this operation is quoted saying:

“The shares are open to all and everybody can take part, whether personally at sea or on land by providing cash, weapons or useful materials … we’ve made piracy a community activity.”

Even the town gets a cut of the ransoms, to pay for desperately needed infrastructure. The government doesn’t have the resources to stop this, due to fighting rebels with backing from The West. Without many other prospects, this sadly leaves many young men lured to the life of piracy.

Some of the other shocking quotes come from a young divorced woman, who donated part of her settlement:

“I am waiting for my share after I contributed a rocket-propelled grenade for the operation”, as well as, 

“I am really happy and lucky. I have made $75,000 in only 38 days since I joined the ‘company’.”

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