News: Who took my oil tanker?

Somali pirates

"I am 42 years old and have nine children. I am a boss with boats operating in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.", starts the story of Asad 'Booyah' Abdulahi, describing himself as a "pirate boss", living in a small Somali fishing village.

"I finished high school and wanted to go to university but there was no money. So I became a fisherman in Eyl in Puntland like my father, even though I still dreamed of working for a company. That never happened as the Somali government was destroyed [in 1991] and the country became unstable."

"At sea foreign fishing vessels often confronted us. Some had no licence, others had permission from the Puntland authorities but did not want us there to compete. They would destroy our boats and force us to flee for our lives."

"I started to hijack these fishing boats in 1998. I did not have any special training but was not afraid. For our first captured ship we got $300,000. With the money we bought AK-47s and small speedboats. I don't know exactly how many ships I have captured since then but I think it is about 60. Sometimes when we are going to hijack a ship we face rough winds, and some of us get sick and some die."

"We consider ourselves heroes running away from poverty", he added. (Full)

These guys, with no education, but a lot of guts, a few hundred dollars worth of weapons and a dinghy captured over 60 ships, as big as one of the world's largest oil tanker.

Is this the story of the modern world's Robin Hood?

Photograph: Veronique de Viguerie/Getty Images


Anonymous,  07 December, 2008 05:25  

?????Heroes???? They have no education???? They have guts????
c'mon that's a joke! Do they think to solve their poverty with crimes? Robin Hood story had a different background ... nothing to be compaired with!

Peter 07 December, 2008 10:53  


I think there is some comparison possible, no? Certainly when reading the full article, I thought...

Hmmm... 6 of these guys in a fiber dinghy, swing slings aboard a 300,000 ton ship and force it to anchor off their fishing village..

"Look what I caught today, ma?"...

You have to admit, there is an irony in the whole story. ;-)


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