Peter keeps his six-pack under wraps
CHEESY crooner Peter Andre says he doesn’t like posing with his top off – unlike ex-missus Katie Price.
The perma-tanned singer, 39, reckons he keeps his kit on so his female fans don’t get bored of seeing his six-pack.
He said: “I always try to avoid posing with my top off.
“Believe it or not, the only time I’ll do it is if I’ve been training and there is good lighting.
“You never see me walking on the beach with my top off, unless I go for a jog early morning when no-one is around.
“Occasionally the photographers get me, but I’m just not that sort of person.
“If you have your shirt off in every photo people get bored of seeing that – you should always try to leave a little to the imagination.” HIRE five to 10 young men with AK47S and ammo for just $15 a day. You can find them on any street corner.
Get two skiff boats with fast outboard motors, enough food and water to last a month, and that’s it – you have got yourself a Somali pirate crew.
So says Mohamed Noor – aka “Fingers” – the selfstyled pirate king of Galcayo, the most lawless city in the war-torn nation of Somalia.
Fingers doesn’t stump up the money himself, of course.
The cash up front comes from shadowy “investors” – and the pirates are told not to return until they have captured a ship.
The targets – mainly the 300 cargo ships that pass Somalia’s treacherous coastline through the Gulf of Aden every single day, north to the Suez canal or south to the Indian Ocean – are not randomly selected.
Intelligence says the targets are usually chosen by “consultants” in other countries – in many cases from London, the world centre of ship-broking and insurance.
One Turkish shipping firm general manager recalls one of his tankers being overrun by pirates in 2009.
He explained: “They made regular satellite phone calls from the ship to London.
“Every day the chief of the pirates got in touch with people from London, Dubai and some from the Yemen.
“We don’t know exactly who the consultants are, but there’s an assumption they work inside the industry.
“They knew the vessel, they knew the cargo, they knew the loading ports, they knew the destination, they knew everything. They knew their job.” The European Union’s anti-pirate Operation Atalanta, designed to protect ships in the area, believes the hijacking of at least three ships – the Turkish Karagol, the Greek cargo ship Titan and Spanish tuna trawler Felipe Ruano – were following tip-offs from London.
But the best battleplan in the world will fail without any soldiers, explains Fingers, who has sent “hundreds and hundreds” of pirates off on hijacking missions.
According to the US Navy, there were 97 attempted hijackings in the Gulf of Aden in 2009 alone, 27 of them successful. But the work is dangerous.
“Hundreds of pirates never return at all, it’s not like your Jack Sparrow,” Fingers told Time magazine. “Some drown at sea. Many run out of food, water and die, starving and thirsty, on the ocean.
“One time there was this group I knew who ran out of
food and a guy died – and the other guys ate him. It’s not a crime if you’re about to die yourself.”
Somalia, in a constant and deadly civil war, hasn’t had a central government since 1991. Even the one it has can’t control the capital, Mogadishu, never mind the rest of the country.
The resulting chaos means legal and reasonably wellpaid employment is rare. Which means arms dealing, drugs smuggling and piracy are now seen as legitimate industries. They are fast growing, too. According to the International Maritime Bureau in Kuala Lumpur, Somali pirates attacked 117 ships in the first three months of last year. At one time there were 28 ships being held along with 600 sailors.
Killing hostages, once rare, is also on the up. During the same period last year seven sailors were murdered.
There were even some cases of horrific keelhauling.
But while it’s dangerous work, if you live long enough to see the rewards it’s well worth the risk.
Tankers carrying megatonnes of valuable cargo are only released for sums up to £6million.
The size of the industry means the ransoms paid to pirates are a mere fraction of piracy’s true cost.
High insurance premiums, extra security, extended routes and the consequent rise in the prices of goods transported puts the cost at anywhere between £3bn and £6bn.
The shadowy investors and consultants take the lion’s share of the bounty. But the pirates themselves don’t do too badly either
Two ships Fingers hijacked earned him first £48,000, and the second £175,000.
He invested £35,000 in a money-lending business in Nairobi, capital of Kenya. But Fingers doesn’t look like a wealthy man. Where has all the money gone?
He grins: “I bought houses and cars. I bought a couple of Land Cruisers. I spent the money on friends. I enjoyed it. Now it’s gone. That’s why I’m still a pirate. I need the money and, besides, it’s fun.
“I’m happy. I don’t depend on anyone. When I want a woman I give her money and she becomes my mistress.
“When I need a ship, I take one. No-one can stop me. The sea is as big as Somalia, no-one can control Somalia and no-one controls the sea.”