Peter keeps his six-pack un­der wraps

Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By JUSTIN DUNN

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.

Tip-offs

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.

Ran­soms

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.”

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