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Somalia: Al-Shabaab earns money from Khat trade in Europe

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Tuesday June 29, 2010 - 02:01:53 in Latest News by Super Admin
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    Somalia: Al-Shabaab earns money from Khat trade in Europe

    Somali Khat traders in Europe were accused of aiding the Somalia's terror group Al-Shabaab, report says.

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Somali Khat traders in Europe were accused of aiding the Somalia's terror group Al-Shabaab, report says.

 AMSTERDAM (Sunatimes) Hassan, a former Somali Khat smuggler living in the Swedish city of Malmo says the Somali Khat traders in Europe particularly in Netherlands give financial support to the Al-Qaeda linked militant group of Al-Shabaab in Somalia, the Dutch newspaper De Pers published on Monday.

Hassan who had been jailed for Khat smuggling in Sweden was later released and told the Swedish intelligence service what he knows about the link between the Khat trade in Europe and Al-Shabaab.

"The money from Khat trade goes to Somalia by the time the official assets of Al-Shabaab are frozen world. Therefore the khat trade is one of the few ways to raise money for the terrorist group “Hassan said adding “because they need the money to pay their soldiers. We used to send some twenty thousand Euros to Al-Shabaab in Somalia per week.”

Hassan said when the situation in Somalia escalated he stopped in the smuggling career. “ I did not want blood on my hands."

"95% of the Khat from Netherlands is smuggled to Sweden and the price of the Khat is five times higher in Sweden than Netherlands. The Khat is also smuggled into Germany and the Scandinavian countries. The trade of Khat surely earns thousands of Euros.” Said Stefan Kalman, Khat-specialist of the Swedish police.

Mr. Kalman assured that Khat trade in Europe is an excellent opportunity for Al-Shabab to raise money for war in Somalia.

But the Dutch intelligence service, the AIVD, says there is no sufficient evidence that the khat trade in Western Europe could be a source of income for Al-Shabaab.

“The support from Somalis in Netherlands is limited. We are keeping close eye to activities of Somalis in Netherlands so I don’t think there is risk emerging.” AIVD a spokesman said.

 

Four times a week, more than twenty pounds of Khat leafs are imported Kenyan capital Nairobi to Schiphol Amsterdam.

The Khat consumption gives you highly stimulation and hunger disappears soon after  you chew a branch of Khat, a narcotic green leaf. Around 22,000 Somalis in Netherlands mainly men consume Khat.

 

 Your hunger disappears, you get a euphoric feeling, Somalis can not do without. But twenty thousand pounds, which is quite a bit for the estimated 22 000 Somalis who are currently staying in the Netherlands.

 



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