James Forsyth James Forsyth

The London connection to the Somali pirates

The Daily Beast has an absolutely fascinating interview with Andrew Mwangura who fixes the release of ships and sailors captured by the pirates off the coast of Somalia. (He’s currently on trial in Kenya) Do read the whole thing but this  section sbout the role of London in the whole business particularly jumped out at me:

“But most of that money does not stay in Somalia. These young men carrying guns are just foot soldiers. Their leaders are in Kenya, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and Canada. It is not easy for a common man in Africa to afford a motorboat with an 80-horsepower engine. It takes people out of Somalia to finance these activities.

How does the money find its way from the shipping companies to the warlords?

The payment of ransoms is often done in Nairobi, Mombasa and European capitals, London in particular. I’ve heard cases involving both bank transfers and old-style suitcases filled with cash carried by air or by sea.”

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