WEEKLY PIRACY REPORT
All courtesy of Monty, including the following codicil to the website linked above
The instructive case of the MV Blida
The case of the recently released MV Blida has caused a fair bit of fallout among pirates, and according to our publisher Robert Young Pelton, it once again shows the business model of the pirates is under real strain.
The ransom has created a major rift among the group of pirates lead by Garaad, according to pirates and local residents. Pirate Mohamed Ahmed said that the low ransom of $2.6 million received means the pirate group cannot repay all their investors and suppliers who supported the operation for nearly a year.
“When this group got the ransom, leaders began to cheat other pirates. Garaad and his negotiator and translator, Loyaan, took the most money. Garaad, the investor, got $600,000 ransom and Loyaan got $120,000. That is their normal percentage, but there are 57 others that need to be paid for their work on the Blida,” Ahmed told Somalia Report. “Garaad is now in Galkayo but he uses different phones. His friends can’t find him and this is causing a major clash among the group.”
There was all kinds of mayhem during the negotiations over the MV Blida, with the pirates changing negotiators and reneging on an initial deal before finally agreeing to take the money.
In the article linked above, Robert argues that the risk-to-reward ratio for pirates is increasingly close to collapse due to longer times between hijack and release and thus higher costs for the pirates, the costs of running vessels out to sea only to find it is getting harder to capture merchant vessels, and pressure from the Puntland authorities on the pirates on land. The consequences of these factors are likely to be worse treatment for captives as the pirates attempt to speed up negotiations, and a further focus on grabbing land-based hostages, such as the Danish and US aid workers.