Crime on the high seas seems to be doing fine, all things considered. While cases of piracy off the coast of Africa were significantly reduced, the menace of piracy on the Asian seas continues largely unabated. So far, 2015 has seen increase in the number of thefts, primarily aimed at tankers.
Based on reported incidents, one may imagine that Asian seas resemble dark woods filled with robbers taking the riches of traders and promptly reselling them for handy profits. To add insult to the injury, those acts are not happening thousands and thousands of miles away from land. They are happening practically at the doorstep of maritime nations equipped with a reasonable amount of military technology and capable of deterring and containing the pirates. However, this article is not about the seemingly powerless enforcement of the safety and law on the high seas. This article is about the shadow economies fed by the pirates and the questions they raise.
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