Modern Age Piracy: An overview of the threat, the crime and the

aciantar | 08 Feb 2012

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Maritime piracy is an act, generally of robbery or criminal violence, by private parties against other parties at sea. Broadly speaking piracy takes place through two kinds of offences, namely robbery or hijacking where the target is stealing a vessel or cargo, or kidnapping where the vessel and crew are threatened until a ransom is paid.
Until recently piracy was a phenomenon in decline which skyrocketed again in 2008 and 2009 making this crime at the forefront of the international community’s attention in light of the threat that it poses on maritime trade. A Geopolicity Inc report describes piracy as an emerging market in its own right valuing it at €3.5 to 6 billion in 2010 alone. This report suggests that the number of pirates could double by 2016.
Aside from the concerns over the pirates’ income from ransom, there are also concerns over the indirect costs are must higher since they include insurance, naval support, legal proceedings, re-routing of ships and preventive actions by ship-owners. To date, there is no quantitative research available on the total cost of global piracy.


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