(BBC) The most skilled pirates, the ones who prove themselves by being the first to board a hijacked ship, are paid more, and are more in demand.
“That guy doing the jumping, he gets $5,000 (£3,050) extra because he’s taken the risk of getting hit by anything coming from the crew. And it’s something good for his CV, to show to other investors.”
It’s an amazing story.
Rob Walker’s Anatomy of a Hijack is broadcast on the BBC World Service Assignment programme on Thursday 4 June and The Report on BBC Radio 4, Thursday 4 June at 2000 BST. You can listen via the BBC iPlayer or download the podcast.
Etcetera: Did you know that in 1950 Cadillac came out with a car — the Debutante convertible — that had actual leopard skin interior?
As perfect leopard skins are scarce, the greatest obstacle, as pointed out by Don E. Ahrens, Cadillac General Sales Manager, was that of obtaining enough for this undertaking.
Many months before the car was built a Detroit furrier was commissioned to find the perfect specimens. This quest was fulfilled when he brought the 187 finest skins in the country to his establishment. After a careful examination it was determined that fourteen approached the high quality of this car as closely as could be obtained. Fur experts then studied the skins for many days to arrive at an exact match and perfect laying of each piece.
The leopard skins covering the upper portion of the front and rear seat backs, the upper side panels, and the complete floor in the front and rear compartments give a sophisticated interpretation of primitive splendor.
These skins are those of the Somaliland leopard – the largest, most ferocious, and yet the most beautiful species – found only on the East Coast of Africa.
When placed in context, the immorality of the Somali pirates is no worse than the immorality of 19th and 20th century businessmen whose descendants the pirates now attack from speedboats.