Pirates have been around as long as people have used the oceans as trade routes, and their reign on the world's high seas has inspired many a novelist. But the type of pirate Ross Kemp is investigating now is a world away from the cutlass-and-peg-leg stereotype of Treasure Island and Pirates of the Caribbean. The corsairs he meets in Somalia, Indonesia and Nigeria are armed with AK47 assault rifles, RPG-7 rocket launchers and semi-automatic pistols. They race towards their targets in speed-boats and board and capture vessels in a flash. They are violent, dangerous and ruthless – they will stop at nothing to get the ransoms they have demanded.
Piracy is becoming an increasingly serious problem that is not going away. As the pirates he meets stretch their operations ever further to new hunting grounds, Kemp finds out, often to his cost, how much of a force to be reckoned with they are.