November 18, 2008 at 7:39 pm | Posted in Interweb | 4 Comments

Pirates have seized control of the Sirius Star, a Saudi-owned oil tanker off the coast of Kenya and are steering her towards Somalia.

So what do you do with a tanker full of stolen oil? Do you just steer it up to the dock and start selling it to people with gas cans?



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  1. No, you hold it for ransom.

    There is a whole industry now that does nothing but insure against and advise about piracy.

  2. Yeah, supposedly the pirates demand (and get, for the most part) a whole lot of money for ransom, upwards of $2+million. It’s become almost a cottage industry in Somalia I guess, but these dudes are just racking it in. The BBC has a whole series of interesting articles on Somali pirates, if you’re interested. And it’s been going on for the last couple of years-I don’t know why ships still go around that area, knowing the risk.

  3. They use this route because going around South Africa costs $30-40K more a trip in fuel and crew costs. The insurance the shipping companies pay for includes ransom services, counseling and even plastic surgery (if needed) for the crew! Macleans did a wonderful article a few weeks ago.

  4. I guess that’s understandable. One of the sources in the BBC article was talking about how his company is going to be going the Cape of Good Hope way ’round now in order to cut down on the chances of the ships being caught, which I think is smart business even at the cost of $30-40K. Not only would it reduce the number of ships being caught, it would also probably help keep the companies out of the limelight at the same time. I’ll have to look up the Macleans article, thanks.

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