The recent hijacking of a ship off the coast of emerging oil darling Angola, and the apparent heist of $8 million in fuel, helps us trace how piracy on the high seas has shifted geographically and how it changes and adapts to new security efforts.
Civil war-torn and anarchic Somalia used to steal all the piracy headlines—not so anymore. Pirates were pushed off the Somali coast, and along with some other ingenious adaptations to their modus operandi, they moved with the geographical—and increasingly geological—times. Where the oilmen go, the pirates will follow.
A regional and Western security response has forced pirates to rethink their strategy, and they have repeatedly demonstrated that they are capable of moving with the times, so to speak. They’re no longer trading in people; they’re trading in oil, and their networks are highly complex.
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