Pirates hijack U.S. bound oil tanker

Armed Somali pirates carry out preparations to a skiff in Hobyo, northeastern Somalia, ahead of new attacks on ships sailing in the Gulf of Aden.

TEXT OF STORY

JEREMY HOBSON: An oil tanker bound for the United States was hijacked by pirates this morning off the coast of Somalia. This comes just a day after pirates in the same area took control of an Italian tanker.

As Marketplace's David Gura reports, this uptick in hijackings could impact all of us.


DAVID GURA: These attacks exact a big toll on the global economy. They cost up to $12 billion every year. And that ends up costing us more at the pump.

Tony McAuley is a managing editor at The Economist Intelligence Group.

TONY MCAULEY: I mean were talking about several million in ransom for some of these ships.

McAuley says that, aside from ransom, companies have to pay crews a lot more money because of safety fears. And insurance costs have gone up. In Europe, there's been a big debate about how to increase security, and who is going to foot the bill. McAuley says that the only real solution has to come from Somalia, where many of these pirates are from.

MCAULEY: The pirates in places like Gurilway and Bossasa -- the towns there are local heroes because there's virtually no economy there. It's a pastoral economy --

-- in a country where there still isn't a functioning government.

In Washington, I'm David Gura, for Marketplace.

About the author

David Gura is a reporter for Marketplace, based in the Washington, D.C. bureau.

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