During the Golden Age of Pirates, smuggling and piracy went together. If it didn’t go together, then how would the pirates be able to make any money on the treasures and loot that they stole without being noticed by the authorities?
What is smuggling? Smuggling is importing goods to a country without legal permission, and this could be to avoid any taxes, to bring items into a country that are illegal (in many cases with pirates), and to avoid people asking where the products came from and why the items are for sale. A lot of smugglers were entwined with a big corruption that involved governors and the port supervisors. The authorities would look the other way when it came to the operations of smugglers, then smaller scaled smuggler operations imported items to purchasers in the dark of night and in very quiet areas.
The Gold Age of Smuggling
During the time period of the 1690’s thru 1720’s a captain pirate and his quartermaster would have been professional smugglers. Along the coast of North Africa and the Caribbean Sea is where piracy smuggling was very popular. Although, the Royal Navy of Great Britain suppressed the piracy, smuggling still continued.
Pirate Ship Plunders
During the Golden Age of Piracy pirates was quite successful as professional merchants waited for pirate ships to come to them after they returned sailing on the Caribbean Sea, Indian Ocean, and Pacific Ocean as the pirates would sell pricey silks and spices along with many other valuable commodities at low prices. The merchants got great deals, because the pirates sold the merchandise at a very low price. The savvy pirates sold directly to traders when they arrived on land and just eliminate the middle man. The pirates would smuggle the loads along the North America and Europe coast.
Pirates would also barter their loot, which allowed them to avoid having to go on land and risk being captured and arrested. The loot and stolen items would be exchanged for food, drink, and other supplies and the pirates would also trade the items for ship parts and guns and weapons for the pirate ship.
One thing is for certain is pirates were businessmen that were shrewd and used bartering, trading, and evaded any import tax.