X doesn’t mark the spot where pirates stash their loot, but the night-time glow of artificial lighting is a dead giveaway.

A satellite study has shown for the first time where Somali pirates are putting the proceeds of crime – and suggests where strategies against their banditry might and might not work.

Warships from 30 nations patrol the waters off Somalia but still piracy continues, costing $12 billion a year. The naval threat just makes pirates squeeze more out of every ship they manage to capture: top ransoms trebled from $3 million to $9 million between 2008 and 2010.

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