Ivory, rhino horn finances al-Shabaab - report

2013-09-25 09:54

Johannesburg - Islamic extremists al-Shabaab receive a large amount of money through ivory and rhino horn smuggling, Beeld reported on Wednesday.

This is according to the international Environmental Investigation Agency.

"Up to 40% of al-Shabaab's money comes from ivory-users and buyers," the EIA said.

While the global focus centred mainly on poachers, it was ivory consumers - who use ivory for either ornamental or medicinal purposes - that financed the group.

An investigation done on behalf of the EIA in 2011 by Nir Kalron, founder of Maisha Consulting, and Andrea Crosta, executive director of the non-governmental organisation Elephant Action League, found that al-Shabaab was part of an international ivory smuggling network.

The group was also involved in the smuggling of rhino horn that enabled them to buy explosives, bullets and weapons.

The investigation brought to light the fact that al-Shabaab had earned between R2m and R6m per month in 2011 through illegal ivory sales.

In 2012, the estimated retail price of black market ivory was about R18 000 per kilogram.

SA police investigating al-Shabaab

Meanwhile, The Times reported on Wednesday that South African police are investigating alleged fundraising and recruitment by the terrorist group in the country.

This comes after reports that one of the suspects in the deadly attack on a Nairobi mall was travelling on a fake South African passport.

Hawks spokesperson Captain Paul Ramaloko told The Times that the group's activities in South Africa have been under investigation "for some time" but he was not able to divulge more details.

Al-Shabab is based in Somalia and has links to al-Qaeda.

  • Chris Charlton - 2013-09-25 09:58

    They should have something chopped off to compensate for all the animals that they have killed to fund there evil ways

      Ian Flack - 2013-09-25 10:30

      I wish they wouldn't use "earned".........

      Maarten Slabbert - 2013-09-25 11:09

      Just another great reason to make a donation to Al-Shaboob... I think 5 or 6 Umbani PGM's will do nicely.

  • CommonSense - 2013-09-25 10:11

    Sounds like a tall story to me. Surely there are other easier ways to finance a terrorist operation and if it's such general knowledge, why hasn't anybody stopped it? As for the woman that had a Saffa passport, say thanks to the department of home affairs for that one. And then think back to the reasons the UK government gave for clamping down on the visa system.

      CommonSense - 2013-09-25 10:37

      Oh and of course my favourite part of the story: "Meanwhile, The Times reported on Wednesday that South African police are investigating alleged fundraising and recruitment by the terrorist group in the country." Wouldn't you just love to be a fly on the wall at that meeting? It's quite sad but statements like these mean absolutely nothing when it comes to our police and intelligent services. I mean lets not forget that Zuma was once head of intelligence of the ANC.

      Jacqui Daane Van Rensburg - 2013-09-25 10:45

      Common Sense. it has been known for quite sometime that these groups finance their activities in this way. How would somebody stop it?. Killing these animals is big business. In Zimbabwe more than seventy elephants have been poisoned with arsenic. Only a complete mind change and competent governments can stop this needless killing. But as long as a terrorist have no qualms about shooting a pregnant woman or a child, I am afraid the animals have very little chance.

      CommonSense - 2013-09-25 11:29

      Jacqui, I'm not trying to detract from the Rhino poaching problem which is a disgusting and incredibly sad issue. But I think Rhino poaches are in it for self-gain because like you said, it's big business and they don't give a toss. I just can't see a terrorist organisation based in Somalia financing their operation through coordinated poaching effort in a country nowhere near them. Especially because there are plenty wealthy people in the Middle East who would happily finance them for free, not to mention a roaring piracy trade right on their doorstep. And by stop to it I meant the money trail. If you know there is a money trail that is dodgy, surely banks can easily stop it? Millions cannot be transported by hand you know!

  • Warren Mudge - 2013-09-25 10:18

    Hey guys, jog my memory here a bit. Was there not a report a while back about a property here in this country that was owned by some group of eastern origin that was heavily guarded and very suspicious? Some development on the coast somewhere? Apparantly the police were not going to investigate it as they found no reason to. There was a whole string of comments about it at the time on this site. Would it not be ironic and sick if this tragedy was linked to that article and this government did nothing. What a nightmare for foreign affairs if people were receiving training in terrorist activities on our soil to carry out this dastardly deed, boy oh boy how to explain this one away, oh loyal subject of No 1. Perhaps the fire at Kenya's airport was also a diversionary tactic, carried out by the same group to avert attention at the time, so as to smuggle in the weapons. Just a thought??????

      CommonSense - 2013-09-25 12:14

      Sounds about as far fetched as this article!

      Michael B da Silva - 2013-09-25 16:34

  • Vannessa Jooste - 2013-09-25 10:19

    Evil. Just pure evil on every imaginable level! So much for them believing that they are preparing a place in their heaven, by engaging in activities which bring only misery, death and suffering, when the opposite is true.

      Victor van der Walt - 2013-09-25 18:10

      Al and the idiots believe that cr p....

  • Lynda Pitcher - 2013-09-25 10:22

    then its time to exterminate these vermin and rid the Earth of their evil purpose

  • Jacqui Daane Van Rensburg - 2013-09-25 10:40

    More reason to exterminate these people as soon as possible. Believe me coming from someone who dislike violence that is a very strong statement.

      Jacqui Daane Van Rensburg - 2013-09-25 10:57

      Jacqui said, the person who gave me thumbs down either can't read, or agree that killing innocent people and animals is just fine.

  • Ri Si - 2013-09-25 10:52

    I find it hard to believe that Emile N'Bouke (regarded as Kingpin of the ivory horn trade in Togo), the vietnamese smugglers recently caught in Kenya and the 3 people recently arrested in Botswana had links to Al-Shabaab. None of the South African arrested for rhino horns, was ever linked to Al-Shabaab. Im not a conspiracy theorist, but certain things just dont add up

  • John Tex - 2013-09-25 11:38

    I wander where the ANC got there money to finance there bombing campaign

      Kamogelo Makomane - 2013-09-25 12:21

      Go ask them not us moron... whr do boeres got bombs from

      Sickup Andfed - 2013-09-25 14:27

      All weapons of war are sorced from those who love/value money over that of human life

  • Omnivore - 2013-09-25 12:07

    I thought it wasn't possible for me to hate these people even more... Apparently it is.

  • John Stoltz - 2013-09-25 12:39

    How nice would it be if the article could read :"Al-Shabab has raised $10 million to feed the starving masses in Africa" ! They are apparently bred to steal, kill and destroy, and that makes me think ! Please prove me wrong !

  • Kalahari Kgalagadi Safaris - 2013-09-25 12:39

    Hawks & saps incomptence & corruption is the reason terrorism & crime is florishing. Mmm the outside world is noticing

  • OldNick - 2013-09-25 12:41

    All the more reason to treat rhino and elephant poachers as terrorists and apply a ruthless shoot to kill policy, a merciless torture policy of those caught alive to gain intellegence on the networks and of course when middlemen and kingpins are identified seizure of assests where possible and swift military style anihilition with extreme prejudice. This is war. Anybody disagree???

  • Samantha Suzanne Carr - 2013-09-25 13:14

    No surprises, we have Jacob Zuma to thank for opening the poaching doors to Asia.

  • Martini Steven - 2013-09-25 13:33

    hmm, somalia and wonder there are so many spazashops in our townships

  • Mpho Leopeng - 2013-09-25 13:56

    And where do they start to investigate with all the corruption at Home affairs.

  • Michael B da Silva - 2013-09-25 16:32

    Do your bit to stop the passive funding of criminal groups. Stop buying "fong kong" DVD`s cigarettes etc. Also if you live in Joburg do not support a dentist by the name of Dockrat in Fordsburg who also owns a large share in a company that makes camouflage hunting apparel called Snipe Africa. His and his "cleric" uncle in Pretoria directly fund Al Qaeda and were under investigation by the SAPS. They also own a sizable chunk in the Tsitsikamma eco and golf estate, They also have a farm out in the klein Karoo which has an obstacle course and dorm rooms!?!?!

  • Addie Alexandre - 2013-09-25 21:17

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  • Dave Deare - 2013-09-25 21:53

    Bloody swines !!!

  • Roger Jenkins - 2013-09-25 22:34

    How low can this pond scum get. Even more worrying is the lack of response from ordinary Muslims condemning this atrocious act. If you have a problem with a country, then attack its military, not indiscriminate women and children. Pigs.

  • Lesley Diane Greyling - 2013-09-30 17:56

    Well maybe now people will understand what i have been saying~! Many people and politicians seem (in SA for sure) not to care about poaching, and have seemed blind to the fact that if poachers can flit in and out of our Countries at will, heavily armed, in packs, in huge vehicles, then ANYBODY can go in and out and do ANYTHING THEY LIKE, so our National Security is a joke~! And its natural for illegal activities to fund terrorism~! So maybe now we DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT HUH? How i wish Osama Bin Laden had hidden with poachers then the US might have blown them all to smithereens~!

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