[[quoteright:350:[[Film/TheLifeAquaticWithSteveZissou http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tla-pirates.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[- What [[{{Pun}} ARRR]][[TalkLikeAPirate RRRRRRR]] they, hijackers?-] ]]

->''"Those guys were ''pirates?'' Admit it, you chased [[APirate400YearsTooLate much cooler pirates]] when you were on our team."''
-->-- '''Hank Venture,''' ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers''

TruthInTelevision: Pirates still roam the waters today (mostly in regions of high political instability or weak military resolve to stop them, such as UsefulNotes/{{Somalia}}, West Africa, and the Straits of Malacca). This trope is about them.

Unlike their [[{{Pirate}} conventional counterparts]], there is nothing romantic about these modern-day pirates. They tend to be completely ruthless, cold-blooded killers, devoid of honor and willing to stoop to any crime: [[TheSociopath sociopaths]] on the high seas. Bonus points if characters express disappointment at these pirates' failure to shiver timbers. Yet, this characterization of being honorless, psychopathic killers is ''exactly'' how pirates were viewed during the Golden Age of Piracy. Many of them lived up (or down) to this reputation. [[NostalgiaFilter Perhaps another four hundred years from now, Somalian pirates will be viewed as romantic rogues.]]

Malaysian and Indonesian pirates live up to their reputation in creative ways that would make Type 1 pirates of yore proud. Instead of walking the plank, for instance, they like to leave crewmembers stranded in shallow water coral reefs 50 miles off the coast, where they have to stand on tip-toes waiting for a passing ship. This is to ensure you don't call for help while the ship is still in the vicinity -- and that is if they don't [[LeaveNoSurvivors execute everyone on board]]. The Somalis, on the other hand, make millions on ransom alone. In fact, ransom is the main point for them; collecting a ransom is quicker, easier, and usually safer than stealing property of similar value and holding onto it long enough to find a buyer.

You won't find modern pirates sailing the seven seas in visually impressive warships. That's because the entire venture cannot work without at least some decent degree of stealth from worldwide law enforcement. The use of vessels like Blackbeard's ''Queen Anne's Revenge'' or Bartholomew "Black Bart" Roberts' ''Royal Fortune'' would be easily visible by satellite imagery, and even if a modern pirate could take control of a hyper-fast-and-powerful ship on the level of a US Navy destroyer, most every nation in the world would almost certainly launch immediate near-limitless-resource missions to hunt down and destroy it. What's more, operating a modern warship requires resources far beyond what it took to run an effective pirate ship in the 18th century. In other words, piracy, like any other form of criminal enterprise, was forced to [[TechnologyMarchesOn change with the times]], or die.

Perhaps the closest thing they have to a CoolShip are a few tankers and cargo ships which are larger than anything that their earlier counterparts could ever get their hands on, mostly used as [[TheMothership mother ships]].

Ruthless Modern Pirates may also be SubmarinePirates. See also SkyPirates and SpacePirates for specific types of modern-day/future pirates that may still retain their romanticism. For modern day pirates who still dress and act as if were the Golden Age of Piracy, see APirate400YearsTooLate.

Related to RuthlessForeignGangsters.

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The main characters of ''Manga/BlackLagoon'' are shown hijacking a ship after Rock first joins them. Since the group's normal vessel is a torpedo boat, one assumes they engage in piracy when their "delivery" business is poor.
** The characters are first seen robbing and kidnapping Rock. They were hired specifically to steal a disk by Hotel Moscow. Later, they were hired by someone else to hijack the ship. Basically, they commit whatever crimes they are hired to do (smuggling drugs, et cetera.) Luak and his men were also pirates before getting wiped out by Revy.
* Off of Somalia, a well equipped band of pirates with two boats and a helicopter tries to attack Koko Hekmatyar's ship in ''{{Manga/Jormungand}}''. Unfortunately for them, she's an arms dealer, and her team of bodyguards puts her merchandise to good use.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* GreenArrow's origin (at least in some versions) involves modern-day pirates hijacking Oliver Queen's yacht and throwing him overboard.
* One of the many kinds of criminals that Comicbook/ThePunisher has fought. The River Rats from ''Comicbook/ThePunisherMAX'' series is a recent example.
* Members of GIJoe along with their Soviet counterparts, the Oktober Guard, are captured by river pirates in ''[[ComicBook/GIJoeARealAmericanHeroMarvel G.I. Joe Special Missions]]'' #4.
* Comicbook/{{Aquaman}} battles Somali pirates (with unexpected consequences) in ''BrightestDay'' #1.
** Arguably Aquaman villain Black Manta.
* Since ComicStrip/ThePhantom's origin involves pirates, he often fights the modern versions. In one DCComics story, the brutal thugs attacking a yacht are contrasted with a swashbuckling movie playing on the yacht's TV.
* ComicBook/{{Deathstroke}} and TheWarlord in ''ComicBook/{{Flashpoint}}: Deathstroke and the Legend of the Ravager''. While Deathstroke is given a bit of a pass because of his noble intentions (he's only turned to piracy as a means to rescue his kidnapped daughter) the rest of his crew are portrayed as remorseless bloodthirsty criminals who just happen to be on a boat.
* Fathom clashes with modern day pirates off the coast of Florida in ''{{Fathom}}'' vol. 4, #1.
* Mojo and his crew from "How Daphne lost her Mojo (and got it back!)" in the graphic novel ''Sex Ed 101'' by Enrique Villagran.
* ''[[ComicBook/GIJoeIDW G.I. Joe]]'' #6 tells Cover Girl's origin story, which involves her taking out a gang of ruthless modern pirates while a contestant on a celebrity reality show.
* ''ComicBook/DangerGirl: Mayday'' begins with April Mayday and her gang of cutthroats taking over a freighter, which leads to them running into the remains of Hammer Island and discovering [[spoiler:Natalia's body]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* In ''LightAndDarkTheAdventuresOfDarkYagami'', Dark's boat is attacked by "moden pirates with guns and rockets and [[RippedFromTheHeadlines taking over oil tanks lick those guys on tv]]" ...who inexplicably still [[TalkLikeAPirate talk like traditional fictional pirates]].
* In ''Fanfic/MarieDSuesseAndTheMysteryNewPirateAge'', the main character's father, upon seeing the pirates of the OnePiece world for the first time, assumes they're this.
* The SOS Brigade and the Anti-SOS Brigade [[EnemyMine team up]] to fight a crew of these (played by the ''Anime/LuckyStar'' characters) in ''FanFic/YouGotHaruhiRolled''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* MadeForTVMovie ''Desperate Voyage''. A modern-day pirate hijacks private yachts, steals the valuables on board, and sends the passengers to the bottom of the ocean.
* ''Kidnapped in Paradise''. A woman is kidnapped (and her fiancee is killed) by modern day pirates.
* A major plot point in ''SixDaysSevenNights''.
* In ''Film/ClearAndPresentDanger'', an act of piracy leads to an attempt by the U.S. government to systematically assassinate the leaders of drug cartels in revenge.
* ''CaptainRon'' features some real life ''PiratesOfTheCaribbean''. This is [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] by Martin Short's incredulous, "Pirates? Of the Caribbean? Really?"
* In ''TheLifeAquaticWithSteveZissou'', Zissou's boat is attacked by pirates.
* The 1976 ExploitationFilm ''The Muthers'' features a band of female pirates who go undercover at a prison camp on a coffee plantation to rescue their leader's sister.
* In ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk'', the crew that are hired to transport Indy, his [[LoveInterest Doggone Partner]] and the Ark pretend to be these to try and prevent the two of them being captured by Nazis (claiming they killed Indy and planned to sell her into slavery). Interestingly it fails, [[EvenEvilHasStandards but not for the reasons you'd think]].
** Most likely not, cause the Nazis were such good guys, but cause the pirates have the wrong skin color.
* ''Pirates of the [=XXth=] Century'', a 1979 Soviet adventure film about modern piracy, and posiibly, the most financially succesful movie in the Soviet Union.
* A group of modern day pirates run afoul of Tina in her introduction in ''Film/DOADeadOrAlive'' -- and then have the misfortune to encounter the heroines when they are stranded at sea at the movie's end.
** And the head pirate is [[Film/MortalKombat Liu Kang]].
* The fourth ''Film/{{Rambo}}'' has Burmese river pirates.
* Somalian pirates get ass-whupped at the beginning of ''Film/TheExpendables''.
* The mercenaries assaulting the cruise ship in ''Film/DeepRising''.
* The modern pirates serve as the central conflict in the 2001 DisneyChannel original movie ''Jumping Ship''.
* The pirate cats in ''Animation/CatCity''. Other than having a Jolly Roger flag on their [[SubmarinePirates submarine]], there's nothing romantic about them.
* ''Film/CaptainPhillips'', based on a Somali incident in 2009. It doesn't end well for the pirates.
* Lou Kramer (Anthony Perkins) and his gang who commandeer an oil platform in ''Film/NorthSeaHijack'' are essentially pirates, and very ruthless.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* The PeterBenchley [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Island_(1979_novel) novel]] ([[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Island_(1980_film) and later film]]) ''The Island''. In the novel, an anthropologist still defends and romanticizes them, proclaiming them to be one of the few remaining societies undiscovered and untouched by the modern world... even though they're almost entirely dependent on preying on the latter, and particularly prize cans of bug spray. [[spoiler:Near the end of the book, the pirate leader kills him without blinking an eye.]]
* The NUMASeries novel ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Vortex! Pacific Vortex]]'' features pirates using a modern legend as a cover for ship captures.
* Zoltan the Magyar and his crew from the YoungBond novel ''Blood Fever''.
* [[ConversationalTroping Mentioned]] in ''Literature/TheMysteriousBenedictSociety'' and the Perilous Journey. Cannonball, first officer on the cargo ship ''Shortcut'', explains that "modern day pirates don't fly the skull and crossbones," but definitely do exist and can be very dangerous.
* In ''Literature/AtlasShrugged'', Ragnar Danneskjöld is a Norwegian 20th Century ideological pirate, completely dedicated to promoting the ideology of Capitalism and unrestrained Free Market by seizing government ships (he never attacks private vessels), selling the loot, and returning the money to those he believes the government has stolen it from. Of course, Creator/AynRand [[AuthorTract portrays him as a hero]].
* From JamesLeeBurke's ''The Neon Rain'' (narrated by main character DaveRobicheaux):
-->Now these same bayous, canals, and marshlands where I had grown up were used by the Barataria pirates. But their namesakes, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Lafitte Jean Lafitte's]] collection of brigands and slavers, were romantic figures by comparison. The current group was made up of marijuana, cocaine, and heroin smugglers who would murder a whole family out on the Gulf simply for the one-time use of their boat, after which they'd open up the cocks and sink it. Occasionally the Coast Guard would find one half-filled with water and beached on a sandbar, the gunwales painted with blood.
* Explored in the ''SwallowsAndAmazons'' book ''Peter Duck''--some of the child protagonists like to pretend to be classic eighteenth century style pirates, and get a rude awakening when their ship is attacked by real contemporary pirates.
* Lin Chung is abducted by South China Sea pirates and held for ransom in the PhryneFisher novel ''Away With the Fairies''.
* Soviet novel ''Adventures Of Captain Vrungel'' written in late 1930s, during UsefulNotes/SpanishCivilWar, mentions pirates off the Spanish coast. Vrungel's yacht "Rage", [[WalkingDisasterArea a sailing disaster area]], passes there and gets attacked. Fortunately, Vrungel is inventive as [[TheMunchausen Baron Munchausen]] and manages to scare them off by making his ship look like a submarine. The animated series set in 1970s [[SettingUpdate replaced]] pirate attack with accidentally sailing into a war games area.
* The Alistair [=MacLean=] novels ''When Eight Bells Toll'', ''Fear is the Key'' and ''The Golden Rendezvous'' (all adapted to film) involve the hijacking of bullion shipments by organized gangs of criminals.
* Pirates attempt to rob the wealthy passengers of a cruiser in the opening chapter of ''Literature/SeaFire'', but find out that Literature/JamesBond, thanks to his experience as an intelligence agent, is more ruthless.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* "Uh-oh, Chongo! It's ''Danger Island'', next!" on ''TheBananaSplits''. Featured Captain Mu-Tan and his rag-tag band of modern day pirates.
* ''CSIMiami'': A boat is suspected to have been hit by pirates, but careful investigation turns out that it was [[spoiler:a white supremacist militia group, and one of the crew was in on the attack]].
* The ''Series/MacGyver'' episode "Pirates" had Mac clash with modern day pirates.
* Gavin gets rescued and then promptly BoundAndGagged by these in ''TheBrittasEmpire'', after being lost at sea on a potato-powered lilo. I'd ''like'' to say it makes sense in context.
* ''DeadliestWarrior'' had the Somali pirates do battle against the Medellin Drug Cartel.
* ''BurnNotice'' episode "Rough Seas" [[NotUsingTheZedWord never included the word "pirates"]], perhaps to avoid invoking this, but the bad guys ''were'' thieves operating on the water.
* The ''LawAndOrderCriminalIntent'' two-parter "Loyalty" deals with Somali pirates.
* ''Series/TheATeam'' takes on river pirates in TheAmazon in the two-part episode "The Bend in the River".
* On ''Series/ThirtyRock'' Cerie's wedding is delayed by several months because her fiancée is captured by Somali pirates. Due to StockholmSyndrome, some of them end up as groomsmen at the wedding.
* The ''Series/{{Covert Affairs}}'' episode, "The Last Thing You Should Do", is all about [[BruceWayneHeldHostage Auggie]] getting captured and held for ransom by Somali pirates, and trying to escape without blowing his CIA cover.
* ''Series/YoureSkittingMe'': Tatiana once tried to pretend that her boat had been boarded by Somali pirates (although Tats kept calling them "Salami pirates"). However, her friend Em had no idea what a Somali pirate actually was, and instead dressed as APirate400YearsTooLate.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w347Mv4vN3w "Somali Pirates Song"]] by MitchBenn is about this kind of pirate, and makes it very clear that they're not like [[APirate400YearsTooLate the other kind]] (while throwing a few 'Aharr's in for good measure).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* The ''ComicStrip/TerryAndThePirates'' comic strip dealt with the pirates of the China Seas in the 1930s (modern day for the strip), the beginnings of modern day piracy.
* Pirates were a common foe in the early days of the ''ComicStrip/JungleJim'' strip.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio]]
* Modern pirates often appeared in ''Radio/BoldVenture''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* For a relative value of "modern," ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' Fourth Edition has a signature character named Kane. He engages in every criminal activity one expects of pirates: smuggling, kidnapping, mercenary contracting, hijacking, and [[SinkTheLifeboats killing people who can't fight back]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The second area of operation in ''{{SOCOM}} III'' is in the Indian ocean, fighting against a group of pirates called the Fist and Fire.
* In ''[[UnchartedDrakesFortune Uncharted: Drake's Fortune]]'' All the enemies are modern pirates. Nathan even comments on how far they are from the idealized notion of old-timey pirates. "They don't take prisoners... [[SexSlave well, not]] ''[[SexSlave male]]'' [[SexSlave prisoners."]]
* B. Jenet is the female leader of the Lilian Knights (a band of modern pirates) in the ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters'' universe. They use a nuclear-powered submarine rather than a galleon.
* The first mission of the computer game ''{{Comanche}} 4'' deals with the US army fighting the pirates of Indonesia.
* And ''DangerousWaters'' often has rogue, "pirate" elements in speedboats. Fortunately, they go down to gunfire quickly. Unfortunately, they tend to be mixed in with civilian fishermen and other vessels, making it difficult to identify them.
* ''{{Anno 2070}}'' features modern pirates.
* ''VideoGame/FarCry3'' probably has the most realistic, dark and brutal depiction of modern piracy in video games. The operation the player must fight against controls a small archipelago, where it deals in kidnapping, human trafficking, and of course the drug trade.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Referenced in [[http://nonadventures.com/2009/04/18/all-for-nautical/ this]] ''TheNonAdventuresOfWonderella''.
* ''FullFrontalNerdity'': "[[http://nodwick.humor.gamespy.com/ffn/index.php?date=2010-12-16 Somali Pirates of the Caribbean]]
* Also in [[http://www.thefreckledfinger.com/newest-cartoon/2011/3/1/030111-a-childs-disappointment.html this]] strip of ''TheFreckledFinger''.
* ''MediumLarge'' ran [[http://mediumlarge.wordpress.com/2008/09/19/friday-september-19-2008/ this strip]] for Talk Like a Pirate Day.
* [[Website/TheOnion Kelly]] thinks that the great pirates of old would [[http://www.theonion.com/articles/pillaging-our-hearts,34364/ approve]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[http://www.weebls-stuff.com/songs/Somalia/ Where can you find pirates? Off the coast of Somalia!]]
* The ''Literature/ChaosTimeline'' has the modern Red Pirates of the Socialist Block, which rob ships of the capitalist nations. And also Nipponese terrorists doing this, who are even worse.
* The [[ParodyReligion Church]] of the [[TheWarOnStraw Flying Spaghetti Monster]], which holds that the decrease in pirates leads to an increase in global warming, specifically says these pirates don't count.
* ''Website/TheOnion'''s fake political cartoonist Kelly did a panel about these at the end of October 2013, not long after the release of ''Film/CaptainPhillips''...but it presents them in a ''positive'' light, labeling them "Today's Swashbucklers" for carrying on the tradition set by Blackbeard, [[Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbean Captain Jack Sparrow]], and Captain Morgan, suggesting that all he knows about piracy then and now comes from romanticized fiction and/or PopCulturalOsmosis (Sir Henry Morgan is mostly known in the 2000s as the namesake of a brand of rum).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* [[Administrivia/RenamedTropes The former trope name]] was "A Disgrace to Blackbeard", coming from Cartman's assessment of piracy in Somalia in the ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episode "Fatbeard". However, the Somalian pirates are shown sympathetically to a degree, having resorted to piracy only because a CrapsackWorld forced them into it. And the Somalis ''do'' turn into the more romanticized brand of pirate for a time (complete with sea chantey sing-alongs), if only because (as Cartman points out) it's just much more fun that way.
* ''JonnyQuest'' TOS episode "Skull and Double Crossbones". Modern day pirates force the Quests to help them obtain sunken treasure.
* An episode of ''TheSimpsons'' had a lost-at-sea character being rescued by pirates, and thinking how awesome it was. We see their conversation subtitled as they cheerfully plan to sell him into slavery. Except that they were fisherman, and they saved him in a net moments from drowning.
** Played straight with the Pirates that attack Homer's "Party Boat". Though they have some stereotypical pirate traits such as [[PirateParrot having parrots on their shoulders]].
-->'''Asian Pirate:''' Set a course for ''Hidden Pirate Island'', A.K.A '''Hong Kong!'''
* The PG-rated modern pirates Captain Barnibus Crab, Kim and Simon are the main bad guys in the third series of the ''FlipperAndLopaka'' animated series.
* ''{{Archer}}'' was captured for ransom by modern Malay pirates in "Heart of Archness"; he thought that pirates didn't exist anymore and many pirate stereotype jokes are made. Then Archer becomes the Pirate King by KlingonPromotion, but proves pretty bad at maritime hijacking (he lets his victim keep his ship out of sympathy for small-business owners).
* Franchise/{{Batman}} and Comicbook/{{Aquaman}} clash with modern day pirates during TheTeaser of the ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'' episode "Clash of the Metal Men".
* One of the ''WesternAnimation/{{Rupert}}'' cartoons featured river pirates, who show up in a later episode as members of a pirate retirement home, which had previously been inhabited solely by more [[APirate400YearsTooLate traditional]] pirates.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Recently published histories of the resurgence of modern piracy include ''[[http://www.amazon.com/Jolly-Roger-Uzi-Threat-Modern/dp/1557503281 Jolly Roger With An Uzi]]'', and ''[[http://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Waters-Modern-Piracy-Terror/dp/0452284139 Dangerous Waters]]''.
* In 2013, a pensioners group in the UK were informed that at their next meeting, they would be entertained by a man talking about pirates. Given the nature of the event, they assumed he would be some sort of musician or storyteller, or someone who performed in character as a pirate [[{{Pirate}} of the traditional kind]]. So some of the elderly regulars decided to dress up in pirate fancy dress costumes. [[FeeFiFauxPas Then it turned out]] that the man giving the talk about pirates was a captain who had been ''hijacked'' by Somali pirates, and was doing public speaking about his experiences.
* Drug traffickers smuggling their wares over water sometimes attack and hijack one another's vessels for the narcotics they're carrying.
[[/folder]]

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