Modern piracy is a billion-dollar business that takes advantage of inadequate international law, lax enforcement and under-staffed ships. Gangs armed with AK-47s and small rocket launchers have been emboldened by recent successes and are demanding--and often receiving six-figure ransoms. Theft of cargo and rocketing insurance premiums means the cost of transporting goods is rising, not to mention the increased physical danger to mariners in all corners of the globe.
In this eye-opening account, respected author and seaman John C. Payne lift the veil on modern piracy, detailing hundreds of very real and frightening accounts up until now. The recent hijacking of the MAERSK ALABAMA by Somali pirates merely brought worldwide attention to an issue that has been simmering for years.