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The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 47, November 22, 2009, Article 27

SOMALI PIRATES CHECK RANSOM CASH FOR COUNTERFEITS

Ahoy, don't e'en Think about payin' us in counterfeit booty!!

With thanks to the Pirate Speak Translator at www.talklikeapirateday.com/translate/, here's a story about Somali pirates and counterfeit money. Don't even THINK about thieving a thief! -Editor

From parachuted bundles of dollar bills to suitcases of cash transiting through east African capitals, there are many ways to deliver ransoms to Somalia's modern-day buccaneers.

The ransom handover is the most critical time in the hijacking of a ship; the single moment when the pirates, but also the crew, are at their most vulnerable.

On Tuesday, pirates who had been holding the Spanish tuna trawler Alakrana said they were about to release it after receiving four million dollars and its crew of 36 but were in the process of "checking the money".

When the luxury French yacht Le Ponant was hijacked by pirates last year, an estimated 1,2 million dollars were delivered to secure the ship's release, according to sources close to the pirates.

According to several businessmen in northern Somalia who refused to be named, part of the cash the French paid was counterfeit and virtually impossible to use.

Since that incident, which took place in April 2008, the pirates started taking more precautions and bringing counting machines and counterfeit money detectors on board.

Some pirates were already very specific on the notes that should be used for the ransom, demanding only 100 and 50 dollar bills and refusing certain years of issue.

"They won't take any $100 bills from 1996 and they also try to avoid the very recent bills, out of fear they can be traced more easily," said one Somali source who was involved in several negotiations.

To read the complete article, see: Ransom - the hole in Somali pirates' net (www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=87&
art_id=nw20091117153122306C465771)

Wayne Homren, Editor

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To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address: whomren@gmail.com

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