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Somali Pirates Face A Business In Decline

The number of ships seized by Somali pirates has fallen dramatically this year. According to the AP, "in 2010, pirates seized 47 vessels. This year they've taken only five."

That's good news for ship captains, but not so much for the pirates:

...Abdirizaq Saleh, once had bodyguards and maids and the attention of beautiful women. When ransoms came in, a party was thrown, with blaring music, bottles of wine, the stimulant called khat and women for every man. Now Saleh is hiding from creditors in a dirty room filled with the dust-covered TVs and high-end clothes he acquired when flush.

"Ships are being held longer, ransoms are getting smaller and attacks are less likely to succeed," Salah said while sitting on a threadbare mattress covered by a mosquito net. A plastic rain jacket he used while out at sea dangled from the door.

While many former pirates are unemployed, Mohamed Abdalla Aden has returned to his old job as a soccer coach for village boys. Aden said it now takes him a month to earn as much as he used to spend in a single day as a pirate.

"The coasts became too dangerous," he said, holding an old, beat-up mobile phone. "Dozens of my friends are unaccounted for and some ended up in jail."

A spokeswoman for the European Union Naval Force credits the drop to increased international military efforts and stepped up security efforts on-board ships.

For More: Listen to our interview with pirate negotiator, "Ali."

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