Somali Pirates’ business: Hawala & Telecom

Published On: Friday, December, 21 2012 - 16:33:26 This post has been viewed 6090 times

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It has been revealed three months ago that 65% of the shares of Iftin Money Transfer is for pirates, while the Puntland president Abdirahman Farole owns 16%. The manager of Iftin Express, Adan Ilkase, a Dutch – Somali who hails from the Puntland clan of Majerinia became very suspicious when all of a sudden changed his small call shop in Rotterdam into a multi million Dollar international business.

Mogadishu (Sunatimes) Even though the activity of the Somali pirates is on the increase, they came up ideas to launder the illegal money they solicit as a ransom from sea vessels and foreigners they abduct.

There are beautiful buildings in Nairobi and Dubai, better known as pirate’s buildings, belonging to the pirates. Besides that, they run multi million businesses such as Hawala (money transfer), telecommunication, and general business.

It has been revealed three months ago that 65% of the shares of Iftin Money Transfer is for pirates, while the Puntland president Abdirahman Farole owns 16%. The manager of Iftin Express, Adan Ilkase, a Dutch – Somali who hails from the Puntland clan of Majerinia became very suspicious when all of a sudden changed his small call shop in Rotterdam into a multi million Dollar international business.

The Somali pirates whose administration is more or less autonomous opened two years ago stock exchange which made possible that business people and diaspora join and benefit from the shares they bought. The three main bases of the pirates, Gara’ad, Hobyo, and Harardhere are under the regions controlled by Puntland, Galmudug, and Al Shabab respectively. Most shockingly, the head of the pirates, Mohamed Abdi Hassan aka Afweyne admitted that they pay the administrations they are under in either fees or shares. Mr. Afweyne did not disclose the amount of money they pay, but a nine month independent investigation we carried out revealed the the Harardhere pirates pay 17% of the ransom they receive to Al Shabab, while those in Hobyo pay 5% of every ransom they get to the Galmudug President Mohamed Ahmed Alin. Similarly, Pirates in Gara’ad pay 20% of the ransom they get to the Puntland President Abdirahman Farole.

Galmudug President has recently appointed Col. Ahmed Osman Kahiye aka Col. Fathi to become head of Galmudug anti piracy forces. Surprisingly Col.Fathi is the head of the Hobyo Pirates.Similarly, President Farole appointed Abdirizak Mohamed Mohamud as his administration’s head of anti piracy forces, but Abdirizak is the deputy head of Gara’ad pirates. The head of the Somali Pirates Mr. Afweyne who spoke about president Farole said “Bi’ir Awke used to represent the puntland president and collect the president’s share since he was his nephew, but after Bi’ir’s death president Farole appointed Abdirizak to represent him.

Mr. Afweyne who was the founder of the Somali pirates said “I don’t want to remain pirate. I’ve established vast businesses such as Miraa aka Khat which I import two planes if Khat into Adado on a daily basis. I also sell fuel vehicles”. Mr. Afweyne who recently bought 42% of shares of a telecommunication company that operates in south Somalia, intends to hand his interest in the piracy to his Son Abdikadir. Pirates use clan mate businessmen as custodians of their money, while enjoy in the big towns and cities e.g. Puntland, Galmudug, Somaliland, Mogadishu, Nairobi, Dubai, Mombasa and so on.

The funniest story I came across while the investigation was on, was that of the ship called MV Leyla, bound for Somaliland, which partly was carrying goods belonging to heads of Somali Pirates. Mohamed Gafaje, Head of the Pirates in Harardhere said “yes,whisemen like Afweyne and Garaad have goods on that ship, but they respected our rules which clearly state that ransom has to be paid for every ship ubducted, regardless of politics or personal interest”.

“Within two years, Somali pirates may take over major business activities such as money transfer and telecommunication since their strategy is to diversify their money laundering operations into the global market”, said expert.

By Dahir Alasow

Dahir Alasow, A senior Radio and TV journalist, a leader of a press watchdog ASOJ, the editor of waagacusub.com,member of European Journalists and outstanding commentator with fearless check on actions of the political groups and others players through investigative journalism, plus defender of the public interest and voice to the voiceless through "the truthful tip of his truth pen"
Mr Dahir Abdulle Alasow
[email protected]
[email protected]
http://.dahiralasow.com
Tel:+31684863567

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