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Laundered Somali Pirate Money a Boon for Kenyan Arrr-chitecture

Nairobi

For Sale: Perfectly cozy pirate hideout located in non-descript, high-rise condo in Nairobi aka "Little Mogadishu." Perched close the Somali border but far enough from the coast to assuage suspicion*, this posh modern abode has large windows perfect to survey police stake outs and tons of closet space to conceal weapons, munitions, and extortionist treasure. Large parrots welcome. Additional underground parking available for your car or boat upon request.

(*Please ask us about Kenya's lenient money laundering laws!)

It's not that transparent, but Kenya is fast becoming a real estate mecca for pirates looking to stash their booty. This, after Somalia's motley crews have recently formed their own brazen in-country brokerages to fund more assault missions. The reason: The country is known to be lax about investigating money laundering and, unlike civil strife torn Somalia, actually somewhat stable.

Because the backers of many transactions have remained anonymous, it's hard to figure out just what sort of arrr-chitecture these bad guys prefer. The only trend: Somali pirates have earned north of $100 million in ransoms in the last two years, according to the Associated Press. So they are than willing to pay double the going rate to get transactions done quickly and quietly, creating a bubble that is forcing local land lubbers out. Per the AP: Prices have nearly tripled in five years, meaning is four-bedroom home that would have sold for $200,000 now goes for $500,000. Some of the swashbucklers are even building their own apartment buildings, which will shiver potential tenants' timbers no doubt.

[ Via io9 ]

Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/strupler/ / CC BY 2.0

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