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Pirates’ Core Competency?- Kidnapping October 3, 2011

Posted by Chris Mark in Piracy & Maritime Security.
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I worked for years in the credit card data security industry.  There is a saying that credit card fraud cannot be eliminated only shifted.  The fact remains that credit card fraud provide too great of a return on investment with little risk for criminals to ”give up” when new technologies are employed to stop one type of fraud. They simply change tactics to obtain the data they can use to perpetrate fraud.

Recently, it was disclosed that another tourist was kidnapped from a beach in Kenya by Somalis.  The prevailing belief is that the kidnappers were ‘pirates’.  In reality, the pirates we have been seeing off the coast of Somalia are, at their core, kidnappers.  When companies began arming vessels and the traditional method of kidnapping their victims became too risky, some began shifting their tactics.

There is both good news and bad news from this change in tactics.  The good news is that the efforts of arming vessels and the presence of maritime forces is having some effect on reducing the number of hijackings.  This can be seen in the reduction of successful attacks against ships.    The downside is that at least pirates have correctly identified that kidnapping is likely where the money can be found and presents less risk than hijackings.  In the end we will continue to see the pirates adapting in relation to the increasing security on the vessels.

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