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AfricaMoney | October 19, 2017

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Piracy and armed robbery affecting the global economy

Piracy and armed robbery affecting the global economy

Piracy and armed robbery at sea are not only seen as a barrier to the delivery of humanitarian aid to Somalia, but also post a real threat to the global economy, according to a report by the United Nations Security Council. (Image: boston.com)

Piracy and armed robbery at sea are not only seen as a barrier to the delivery of humanitarian aid to Somalia, but also post a real threat to the global economy, according to a report by the United Nations Security Council.

Piracy has cost the world economy a whopping $18 billion in increased trade costs, declining tourist arrivals and falling fishing yields since 2006.

According to ‘Pirate Trails’ in a report released jointly by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the World Bank and INTERPOL, ransom brings a lot of funding to the pirates off the coast of Somalia and to the Horn of Africa.Profits from ransom in the past seven years are estimated between $339 million and $413 million, which fund a wide range of criminal activities on a global scale.

The 15-member council believes that the pirate networks get funds to purchase weapons and to pursue their activities by kidnapping and taking hostages, which further creates a threat to the safety and security of civilians and impedes the flow of free commerce.

Accordingly, those using Somalia territory to plan, facilitate, or undertake criminal acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea will be brought to justice, reiterated thecouncil. It also repeated its calls to prohibit piracy and to conduct more in-depth investigations.

Member states are encouraged by the Council to collaborate with appropriate international organizations on implementationby facilitating prosecution of suspected pirates. Setting up naval arms, military aircraft, supporting counter-piracy forces, seizing boats, arms and other equipment suspected in piracy are other means recommended to member states to fight piracy.

Further, the report recommended that Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles and Tanzania act against suspected pirates in national courts.

In February 2013, Mauritius accepted suspects for trial where two Somalis appealed 10-year jail sentences handed down in Japan. Four pirates were sentenced to long-term prison in Seychelles and an additional nine suspects from the Dutch navy were accepted into Mauritian prisons.

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