British Couple Continue to Hold Somali Pirates

A British couple are still awaiting a ransom of $7m (£4.3m) for the safe return of Somali pirates they captured last week off the Horn of Africa.  Paul and Rachel Chandler of Tunbridge Wells in Kent, UK are the first white middle class couple to take Somali hostages since the piracy industry was launched, a market up till now dominated by Somalis.  The couple are believed to have captured three pirates while they lounged on their vessel on their way to Tanzania on a well earned break from pirating.  Paul Chandler reached out to the Somali government demanding a ransom for the safe release of the pirates, adding: “We need to cover our mortgage payments and have a little on the side for retirement.”

We spoke to our business correspondent to guage the latest developments.

[Chief Correspondent] Richard, what’s prompted this unprecedented move by the Chandlers, hijacking this pirate ship?

[Business Correspondent] Mr and Mrs Chandler have seen that retirement decimated by the cruel mistress that is capitalism.  In short, they need the money.

[Chief Correspondent] Right, but why not invest in stocks or just fake their deaths and claim the insurance money, Why have they chosen this particular route?

[Business Correspondent] After the bankin crisis and the arrest of Anne and John Darwin, it seems they wanted to do something they knew would work.

[Chief Correspondent] This is still a dangerous move though, how where they able to capture the pirates?

[Business Correspondent] Reports suggest the pirates were vacationing on a boat they has hijacked last month.  The Chandlers had the element of surprise on their side.

[Chief Correspondent] Has there been any contact with the Somali government?

[Business Correspondent] Not yet, but the couple release video Youtube in an effort to prompt the Somali government into swift payment of the ransom. 

[Chief Correspondent] You’ve seen the video? Are the pirates being well looked after?

[Business Correspondent] One pirate – A Mr…Abdullah Ali – was shown holding a copy of British paper “The Sun” and after some gentle prompting with what looked to be a rusty pipe, managed to utter “food is okay at the moment.  I just want to go…”

[Chief Correspondent] …Go what?

[Business Correspondent] That’s it, he was gagged and blindfolded by Mrs Chandler before finishing his sentence.  The video ended soon after.

[Chief Correspondent] What’s the likelihood the ransom will be paid?

[Business Correspondent] It’s very likely as these men are needed to service piracy which is still Somalia’s most lucrative economic sector.

[Chief Correspondent] Do we know what the reaction in  Somalia has been over this kidnapping?

[Business Correspondent] It hasn’t gone down well, that’s for sure.

[Chief Correspondent] Is that because the capture of pirates is seen to be an embarrassing turnaround for a country that has prided itself on the quality of it’s own pirates ability to terrorise the waters of east Africa?

[Business Correspondent] No.  Piracy was the one thing that Somali were good at and for years they’ve been the market leaders.  Now that we westerners have learned the trade, that position is now under threat.

[Chief Correspondent] Somalia are worried about competition?

[Business Correspondent] Exactly.  The Chandlers weren’t the only one hurt by the recession.  This one act has opened the barriers for other western middle class couples nearing retirement who were hit by the recession to  try their luck in the Somali piracy market.

[Chief Correspondent] So in effect, piracy is now a legitimate business?

Walmart Prepare Pirate Division
[Business Correspondent] Piracy has long been thought to be a primitive crime perpetrated by a simple and backwards people fighting for a cause no one cared about…but yes, now that the western world can make money from it, it’s legitimate.

[Chief Correspondent] And I suppose it’s only a matter of time until big players like Wal-Mart enter the market now?

[Business Correspondent] That’s right, corporations and governments worldwide will be monitoring the situation closely.  Should the ransom be paid, will surely look to conduct their own hijacking for ransom money. 

[Chief Correspondent] I can see how this would be a problem for the Somalia.

[Business Correspondent] Competition is something that any market leader has to deal with.  Somalia must innovate to avoid the west from taking over piracy in the country…like they did with their government and distribution of food.

[Chief Correspondent] It will be exciting to see how this new market shapes up.

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