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Plumeri: Piracy is a growing business

NEW YORK (Bloomberg) Willis Group Holdings plc, the world's third-biggest insurance broker, said piracy coverage is among its “fastest-growing” businesses amid increasing demand for protection against kidnappings and ransom.

“It's crazy, but we do a lot of” kidnapping and ransom business, said Willis Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Plumeri, 67, at an investor conference today in New York. “One of the fastest-growing businesses we have is piracy.”

Pirates seized a record number of ships and crew worldwide in 2010, mostly off the Somalia coast, according to the International Maritime Bureau. Ransoms paid to Somali pirates averaged $5.4 million last year, compared with $150,000 in 2005, according to One Earth Future, a non-profit organisation based in Louisville, Colorado.

This week in the Gulf of Aden, between Yemen and Somalia, pirates firing rocket-propelled grenades hijacked a tanker capable of carrying about 700,000 barrels of crude oil, along with 29 crew members, the European Union Naval Force said in a report on its website.

Willis CEO Joseph Plumeri

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Published March 31, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated March 31, 2011 at 9:31 am)

Plumeri: Piracy is a growing business

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