Fact follows fiction

It has taken the World Bank and Interpol a little while to catch up with The Reluctant Pirate but they finally made it. A new report, Pirate Trails: Tracking the Illicit Financial Flows from Pirate Activities off the Horn of Africa, gives a detailed picture of how Somali piracy is big business financed from a wide range of sources. It breaks down the $400m business and shows how individual pirates get paid up to $75,000 on completion of the job, but that credit during the operation to feed their qat habit and provide fuel and ammunition eats into profits. There are fascinating behind the scenes insights, such as how pirate leaders fine individuals for bad behaviour, especially molesting hostages. There is also a large service industry grown up to support the piracy, including sophisticated rental or sharing of devices like note counters and counterfeit detectors.

Well worth a read, but not as interesting and only a year later than The Reluctant Pirate.

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