This may be one of the most dangerous towns in Somalia, a place where you can get kidnapped faster than you can wipe the sweat off your brow. But it is also one of the most prosperous.
Money changers walk around with thick wads of hundred-dollar bills. Palatial new houses are rising up next to tin-roofed shanties.
Men in jail reminisce, with a twinkle in their eyes, about their days living like kings.
This is the story of Somalia's booming, not-so-underground pirate economy. The country is in chaos, countless children are starving and people are killing one another in the streets of Mogadishu, the capital, for a handful of grain.
But one particular line of work — piracy — seems to be benefiting quite openly from all this lawlessness and desperation. This year, Somali officials say, pirate profits are on track to reach a record $50 million, all of it tax free.