The organization pulled in $97 million dollars in 2010. Average project billings went up from $161,000 in 2005 to $5.3 million in 2010. Not bad in the midst of a global recession.
Especially for a group based out of Somalia. Whose primary business is piracy.
Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime. Fish out his waters, he’ll start a $97 million piracy business.
Yup. Disturbingly enough, being a Somali pirate is a pretty lucrative gig these days.
The disappearance of a solid central government in Somalia as well as an extremist Islamic insurgency has led to the rise of piracy in recent years. In 2011 alone, there have been 48 Somali piracy incidents-including the tragic shooting of four American hostages on Tuesday-and the pirates currently hold 33 vessels and 712 hostages, according to the International Maritime Bureau.
With that much activity, average pirate pay can’t be too shabby. There are about 1,000 armed pirates, the East African Seafarers’ Association told The Guardian. So, a cool $90,000 salary, right?
Yeah, not so much. Piracy has gotten to be such big business that it’s pushing out the little guy.
“There are some people who benefit and those are the big fish, the guys who lead us,” a former pirate told NPR. “We small-timers are used as foot soldiers. We remain in hardship.”
Fortunately for them, according to job site Indeed.com, pirate job prospects are looking up-although you can still make 47% more, on average, as a ninja:
How Do We Know All This? Cuz we’re brilliant. Also:
The Guardian reported that there are at least five pirate gangs employing more than 1,000 gunmen.
Pirate money is fueling a construction boom in Kenya, according to NPR.
Pirates made between $50 and $150 million in 2008, Anderson Cooper found out.
The Daily Mail has the stats on pirate earnings.
The International Maritime Bureau reports piracy stats. And has a really neat pirate map.
-Mark J. Miller, Serious Coin contributor
Photo credits: David Silverman/Getty Images; Indeed.com