Gun-carrying pirates have been terrorizing shipping lanes around the Horn of Africa and the Indian Ocean in recent years as if they were living in the 16th century. The gangs have made tens of millions of dollars from ransoms, which are climbing even as nations have increased anti-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia.
One reason for that? A bustling Somalia pirate "stock" exchange that is helping local investors make profits off pirates' ransoms.
Located in Haradheere, about 250 miles northeast of Mogadishu, the exchange is open 24 hours a day. Business is so good the town is increasingly filled with luxury cars and other high priced goods.
"Ransoms have even increased in recent months from between $2-3 million to $4 million because of the increased number of shareholders and the risks," one wealthy former pirate named Mohammed told Reuters.