The business of piracy

Issue 853 - 16 May 2009 | 2 minute read

Somali pirates are said to have earned at least $30m last year, although some estimates are much higher. This compares with the unrecognised Republic of Puntland's formal budget of around $20m/yr, with revenues gleaned from customs, airport and land revenues. Many pirates are said to be based in Puntland, which GSN's Nadine Marroushi visited last year, on terms which demanded a heavy security complement. Somalia's ruling Transitional Federal Government (TFG) Foreign Minister Mohammed Abdulahi Omar has said pirates can earn as much as $150m/yr from ransoms.

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