Somalia pirates offer investment networks
Reuters is running a fascinating article on venture capital-style investment networks being run by Somali pirates. This implications of this are fairly significant for a number of reasons:
- It provides additional funding for piracy operations which can lead to more capable pirate fleets and sustained operations
- It engages support and reward for piracy operations at the community level which only increases the internal support and protection for piracy operations. As the founder of one of the investment networks noted “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.” In addition, ransom money is invested in health care and education systems in the local district.
- It increases the demand/pressure for engaging in successful ransom operations which may result in pirates taking additional risks. It also puts additional cost pressure in place resulting in higher ransom amounts being demanded.
Somali pirates have been very entrepreneurial in the past, but community investment markets like the one described in the Reuters article make communities dependent on piracy for infrastructure and general welfare, solidifying it as a future threat for years to come.