Pirate Booty Creates Boomtowns

Somalian pirates are creating a booming economy of caterers, luxury cars, and high-end chefs in the northern coastal towns of the impoverished country. "The pirates depend on us, and we benefit from them," said one shopkeeper.

"While pirate villages used to have houses made of corrugated iron sheets, now, there are stately looking homes made of sturdy, white stones.

'Regardless of how the money is coming in, legally or illegally, I can say it has started a life in our town,' said Shamso Moalim, a 36-year-old mother of five in Haradhere. 'Our children are not worrying about food now, and they go to Islamic schools in the morning and play soccer in the afternoon. They are happy.'

The attackers generally treat their hostages well in anticipation of a big payday, hiring caterers on shore to cook spaghetti, grilled fish and roasted meat that will appeal to Western palates."

"Towns that once were eroded by years of poverty and chaos are now bustling with restaurants, Land Cruisers and Internet cafes. Residents also use their gains to buy generators - allowing full days of electricity, once an unimaginable luxury in Somalia."

Full Story: Pirates live the high life, transform villages into boomtowns

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95
Book cover of Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $50.
$369 includes free shipping!