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Hijack and Murder on the High Seas: The Very Strange Case of a Captured Oil Tanker

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Everyone thought that the oil tanker Brillante Virtuoso ran afoul of pirates in 2011 in the Gulf of Aden. The assumption was that the hijackers attacked the ship and set her ablaze. When David Mockett, a maritime surveyor, inspected the vessel, he was left with more questions than answers. But soon after his inspection, Mockett was killed in a car bombing.

What really happened, then? According to reporters Matthew Campbell and Kit Chellel, it all played into a massive financial crimes scheme. They outline their findings in their book, “Dead in the Water: A True Story of Hijacking, Murder, and a Global Maritime Conspiracy. In their telling, the story is that of fake piracy and a global conspiracy.

The murder of David Mockett, meanwhile, remains unsolved.

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