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Monday, July 07, 2014

Gulf of Guinea Pirates: A Boko Haram Connection?

A CNN investigative report suggests there is in Kidnapped captain told ransoms may go to Boko Haram:
Yan St-Pierre, CEO of Modern Security Consulting Group, said his contacts believe Boko Haram, once confined strictly to the northern parts of Nigeria, is benefiting from the increase in piracy along the west coast of Africa. But the group is perhaps not directly carrying out the kidnappings itself.

"So when people are asking, is there a link between Boko Haram and piracy in Nigeria, it's not the one they usually expect it to be,'' said St-Pierre, whose firm was not involved in the Thomas case. "It's one that is not necessarily logistical and operational. It's one that is more subtle. Essentially they will probably provide personnel every now and then, but it's not a fixed structure. So we are talking more (about) providing means to wash the money, to clean it. To make sure the smuggling routes, personnel, sex slaves, drugs, weapons above all else, these pirates need weapons.

"So if Boko Haram provided the weapons in advance for example and said, 'Well we will get a cut of the ransom,' which is standard policy within these groups within the region in general, this would make absolute sense to say, well the ransom money that was paid for the captain ended up at the very least partially into Boko Haram's hands, quite probably as a payment for services delivered."
"Subtle" connections . . .

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