Kill of the Week this week is a pretty basic one:
There are some things you just don't do in EVE Online. And one of the things you just don't do is fly super-expensive cargoes close to Jita unless you're in a warp-while-cloaked ship. You just don't, and New Eden will be a better place when this message gets out. There are just too many people doing cargo scans of every ship leaving Jita. Anything carrying billions in cargo into or out of Jita is just begging to be ganked.
I was recently asked, as part of my CSM run, what I thought about suicide-ganking, and whether I thought it should be possible or a viable career in EVE. And at the risk of losing votes, the simple fact is that I do believe suicide-ganking is and should continue to be part of the game. This also means that I believe that cargo scanners and ship scanners should not provoke aggression or a CONCORD response. Being scanned is not harmful and any ship in the game risks being scanned whenever it undocks. That's part of the game. Being stomped for doing something not-so-smart is also part of the game. EVE is designed to be a harsh universe, and if you undock in a ship like this, you should expect to die in it.
This loss was absolutely preventable. Expensive cargoes can be bought in Jita; just carry them in a Covert Ops ship, not a Bantam. Take reasonable precautions about what time you do things. 1500 EVE time? Probably not the best time to be hauling 7 billion ISK. The thing that baffles me most of all, though: where was this pilot going? Itamo is at the regional gate of a dead-end constellation two jumps from Jita. Unless he had a jump freighter stashed in one of the station systems nearby, there was no reason to be hauling PLEXes into that constellation. Even if he did have such a jump freighter, it would be interesting to know where he can jump out to from this constellation that he can't jump out to from Jita itself.
Finally, PLEXes in general are probably not something you want to be hauling around in any case. They can be activated and used from any system in the game by the owning toon. You do not need to be in the same station that the PLEX is stored in. Every time you put a PLEX into the cargo hold of a ship, you make someone in CCP smile, because they know you have a good chance of setting $20 on fire. ;-)
There's only one good thing about this kill: it didn't happen in Niarja. Niarja is the natural gateway system from Jita to "points south and east", notably a lot of Amarr space and most of Minmatar space. At least three people per day get ganked in Niarja, usually in frigates or light industrials, carrying 250 million or more in cargo. One of my alliance mates lost 750 million in Sleeper loot in Niarja this week. It's become routine. Another system to avoid is Rancer. The system is often used as a low-sec short-cut between the Dodixie and Rens markets. However, it's a haven of a corp called Negative Ten. that delight in using smart-bombing battleships to make the pipe impassable for small ships.
Giving people like this 24 months of free EVE play time is not exactly going to discourage these practices. ;-)