Now Somali civilians can invest cash or weapons into pirate companies and hope for a share of the ransom money.
Forget pirate radio, how about the pirate stock exchange? Somali pirates have created a stock exchange of sorts to fund their hijacking activities, Reuters reports.
The U.S. and other nations have committed naval warships and even aerial drones to the shipping lanes around the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden, but pirates from lawless Somalia have continued to attack ships at will.
Now even landlubber Somali civilians can invest in one of 72 “maritime companies” and hope that their favorite pirate band strikes it rich with the successful ransoming of a captured ship and crew. People don’t even need to invest cash – RPGs and other weapons also accepted at the main pirate lair of Haradheere.
One wealthy former pirate told Reuters that the stock exchange had won local support by making piracy into a “community activity,” which may underscore the root of the problem for nations seeking to battle piracy as a symptom.
Investing in piracy might evoke moral outrage similar to that which plagued early prediction markets. DARPA attempted to set up a prediction market in 2003 for intelligence experts to bet on certain events taking place, including terrorist attacks and assassinations, but had to shut down the operation after an angry Congress slammed it as a “sick” terrorism futures market.
[Read more at Popsci]