Financiers and Foot Soldiers: What Somali Pirates Make
Somali pirates are back in the news, but not because of Tom Hanks’ hit movie. A former D.C. resident of Somali descent is currently on trial for piracy in the U.S. He claims he’s an innocent translator; the feds say he was a hired negotiator who received a lucrative payoff. Higher up the chain, the man who turned piracy into a multimillion-dollar business was busted by Belgian agents who convinced him his story would be the next Captain Phillips. The would-be star arrived in Belgium to consult on the script and was promptly arrested. Masterminds who dodge capture can expect millions — unlike the foot soldiers, who risk life and limb for payouts between $30K and $70K per target.