Somalian pirate operations are becoming increasingly sophisticated, according to a March 10 UN Security Council report, with a funding and incentive model that could double as a business school curriculum.
Here is a handy guide to the piracy business plan, based on some of their findings.
Step 1: Round up investors to provide start-up capital.
Step 2: Gather between eight and twelve pirates to form the at-sea team. They will need "a minimum of two attack skiffs, weapons, equipment, provisions, fuel and preferably a supply boat." Each pirate should bring his own firearm in exchange for a class A share of the profits. If a pirate brings a skiff or a particularly heavy-duty firearm like a machine gun or, say, a rocket launcher, throw in another share. One more share to the guy who boards the besieged ship first.
Step 3: Assemble another team of about 12 people. Each class A pirate can contribute a friend or relative to this team. These are the class B investors and they'll provide land-based protection. The B shares are typically set at a fixed amount, currently worth about $15,000.
Step 4: Hijack ship, take hostages.
Step 5: Find someone to front the cost of the siege -- to be repaid with interest -- while the ransom is negotiated.