The pirates have also acquired sophisticated weapons and tracking devices allowing them to extend their reach, they added."It is organised crime," said Jean-Michel Louboutin, executive director of police services at Interpol, the France-based global police organisation.
"Certainly, yes," he told AFP when asked if people from outside Somalia were involved in the racket.The presence of an international armada to police the pirate-infested Gulf of Aden, off Somalia, is not enough to solve the problem, which also has policing, social and economic dimensions, Louboutin and other officials said.They were speaking on the sidelines of Interpol's 78th general assembly, which ends in Singapore on Thursday. Mick Palmer, Australia's inspector of transport security, said there was "clear evidence" of the increasing sophistication of the pirates, who hijack ships and take hostages for ransom."Their weaponry continues to get more sophisticated, their attacks are taking place farther and farther out to sea... As far as 1,200 nautical miles offshore," Palmer told reporters."So they are getting some quite sophisticated assistance in locating big trading ships," he said, noting their ability to track down the vessels which, despite their size, look like tiny dots in the vast ocean..Agence France-Presse
Somali pirates want $4 million dollars
October 15, 2009: The Somali pirates who seized a Spanish tuna boat last week, are demanding that two of their men, who were captured by a Spanish warship (while going, via speedboat, from the captured tuna boat to shore), be released before negotiations can begin for the captured tuna boat. The Spanish are refusing to go along with that, and are threatening to use commandos to rescue the tuna boat and its 36 man crew. The Somalis, and their supporters, claim that the fishing boats are illegally plundering Somali fishing grounds. But the tuna boats are way off the coast, in international waters. In fact, the pirates are now, according to Interpol, run by criminal gangs. Most of the ransom money goes to gang leaders and middlemen (the negotiators and, foreign specialists and those who deliver the cash). The average pirate, who took the ship, walks away with about $10,000. Many other pirates receive a monthly salary, to keep them going in case they get lucky. The gangs have bought better equipment (GPS, satellite phones, night vision devices, higher quality weapons and, speedboats, outboard engines, boarding gear) for the pirates, but the Somalis involved are mainly cheap labor. Some of the key people in the gangs are foreigners from the large criminal gangs (often run by Indians or Pakistanis, as well as local Arabs) based in the Persian Gulf. The anti-piracy patrol of foreign warships have foiled an average of ten attacks (on merchant ships) a month so far this year. Fewer ships are being taken, but the pirates are still a big threat. Ship owners end up paying an average of seven million dollars for each ship taken. The ransom is less than a third of the cost, the rest goes to lawyers, negotiators, payments to crews and their families and so on.
Al Shabaab is increasingly applying Sharia law in areas they control. This is most visible in the public floggings, executions and amputations of hands and feet of thieves. Many Somalis appreciate this attempt to restore order, but Somalis on the receiving end belong to large families, which now seek revenge from the Islamic radical groups. This is a major reason why it is so difficult to maintain order in Somalia. Al Shabaab is increasingly running into factionalism and violence among their followers. Running any organization in Somalia is like herding cats; big, nasty cats armed with automatic weapons..more..http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/somalia/articles/20091015.aspx
Pirates seize Singapore container ship