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Famous Pirates #9: Cheung Po Tsai (Chinese, early-mid 1800s)

Cheung Po Tsai was a fisherman’s son, captured by a pirate and his wife to later be adopted by them and become a pirate himself. In the height of his “career”, he commanded an army of over 50,000 men and several hundred ships (Caribbean pirates seem to pale in comparison). He terrorized the Guangdong coastline, amassing great treasure, which he hid in a small cave that is today named after him. Eventually the Chinese government managed to catch him, though he struck a deal with them and became enlisted as a captain in the Qing Imperial Navy. He was appointed to the rank of colonel and spent the rest of his life aiding the Chinese government in capturing other pirates.

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