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    The profit making business of Somali pirates

    Mumbai: Though Indian navy has caught at least 100 pirates, at least 53 Indians are still in Somali pirates' captivity. These pirates are mere foot soldiers of a thriving multi-million dollar piracy industry in Somalia. And this industry has well-entrenched international connections too. Somali pirates are not just brute buccaneers, but part of a thriving business model with international connections. CNN-IBN reveals how the business of piracy is conducted in Somalia.Elders in the pirates’ family tree form a de-facto government. Their role is hostage negotiations and liaisons with the outside world. Businessmen and international financers provide the capital for their operations.The Commanders marshal resources, recruit subordinates, and organize operations. They decide the target based on the type of ship and cargo, owner and port of origin. All this information is often acquired from ports.A 30-member security squad protects the commander and ferries supplies to the attackers.At least a 24-member attack squad comprising of fishermen go out on mother ships for hijacking other ships. Huge sums are spent on their maintenanceS Venkiteswaran, Senior International Maritime Advocate said “the minute there is an incident of piracy we get a call from a firm, our firm is experienced in doing negotiations and we have got couple of people who would be able to negotiate and get this and now it's a big racket, a big business. In this business there are a lot of players who make money, big money.”Along with private security agencies who claim to be experts in delivering ransom and freeing ships insurance companies are also charging millions for piracy policies from ship owners. Abdul Gani Serang, General Secretary, NUSI said “I don't think it is controlled in Somalia or any pirate infested area, the control centre could be somewhere else”Once the ransom is received, 50 per cent of the ransom goes to the Financers,30 per cent goes to Commander, mother ship crew and attack squad Commander, mothership crew and attack squad share 30 per cent.10 per cent ransom is given to Elders and 10 per cent to Security guards.“Our country has more at stake because substantial number of seafarers around the world, even on foreign-flagged ships is Indians”, said Venkiteswaran.Piracy is already costing global economy several billion US dollars annually, and if not nipped in the bud now, it will turn into a global monster.