Connect with us

General

Worrying report of terrorist groups gaining financial muscle in Uganda

Published

on

Loading...


By BERNARD BUSUULWA
More by this Author

Findings contained in Uganda’s final National Risk Assessment report of increased capacity among terrorist organisations to execute bigger attacks are a worrying sign.

It also catalogues significant weaknesses of regional governments struggling to tackle illicit financial flows.

The report captures key areas of exposure to money laundering and terrorism financing detected in the economy in line with international compliance standards set by the Financial Action Taskforce based in Paris, France. The assessment is supposed to be carried out after every five years.

Terrorism funding refers to money generated by terrorist organisations to finance terror activities, particularly recruitment and training of fighters, maintenance of local cells that accommodate militants, propaganda campaigns and terror attacks such as the World Trade Centre bombings in New York City in September 2011.

More cash received by terrorist groups implies higher capacity to conduct multiple, deadly attacks in countries involving several collaborators, observers say.

The report states that terrorists fund their war chests mainly from extortion schemes, wildlife crimes, piracy, trade, donations from non-profit organisations and foreign remittances, among others.

Some of the major terrorist groups names in the region are the Somalia-based Al Shabaab, the Ugandan Democratic Republic of Congo-based Allied Democratic Force (ADF) and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) also originally Uganda-based but now reportedly operating in the Central African Republic.

The LRA is led by Joseph Kony. Whereas Al Shabaab is based in Somalia and is responsible for several terror attacks in that country, this group has also planned and executed a number of attacks, especially in Kenya and the neighbouring countries.

Al Shabaab’s main sources of income are extortion, trade, foreign remittances and piracy, according to the report.

The group’s extortion victims include Somali families that receive welfare cash transfers from relatives running businesses in Uganda, most of which are located in the central Kampala area; a scenario that presents complicated enforcement choices for Uganda’s security agencies.

In comparison, the ADF’s presence has been felt in the eastern DR Congo where it maintains some bases and parts of Uganda since it was formed in 1996.

The ADF is blamed for past civilian massacres in eastern DRC and the series of bombings in Kampala in 1997 and 1998 that killed scores of civilians.

Loading...

The group is led by Jamil Mukulu, a former Christian and radical Islamic activist who is currently facing a host of treason charges together with suspected ADF members in the High Court Criminal Division and has called for the creation of an Islamic state in Uganda.

Its sources of revenue include trade, real estate business, illegal mining and donations from non-profit organisations, the report shows.

Some of the group’s real estate are located in Tanzania, intelligence sources claim.

The LRA was started in 1987 and waged a drawn-out armed rebellion against the government in northern Uganda.

This group is notorious for maiming its victims across Uganda and South Sudan, cutting off their lips, arms and ears but was eventually kicked out of Uganda in 2006 following the Ugandan Army’s Operation Iron Fist.

LRA remnants fled South Sudan and moved to eastern DRC before relocating to the jungles of the Central African Republic in 2009. Its sources of income include wildlife crimes, illegal mining and looting.

Mobile money services, forex bureaus and foreign money remittance platforms, apparently carry one of the highest terrorism financing risk levels in Uganda’s economy.

“Fairly small transactions done on these platforms and weak Know Your Customer guidelines are mainly blamed for high terrorism risks…

“Although there are transaction thresholds, these can still pose some risk to terrorism financing, and can be easily circumvented. In the case of forex and money remitters, the high vulnerability is largely driven by the low quality of controls, particularly ineffective monitoring and reporting of suspicious transactions and weak compliance functions in the institutions …” reads the report.

But sources in the mobile money services sector disagree with this negative assessment.

“The mobile money services sector’s compliance levels to anti-money laundering and combating of the financing of terrorism are very high and pose little challenge to the country’s enforcement efforts,” said a source at Airtel Uganda.

Legal gaps, abuse of court orders and limited sharing of intelligence information across national borders are also a major bottleneck for antiterrorism financing enforcement efforts.

However, the NRA report appears cautious and guarded on the quality of Uganda’s anti-terrorism enforcement efforts.

“The quality of terrorism-related intelligence is good and domestic co-operation is smooth, which has led to the effective disruption of terrorist attacks. The process to build capacity to generate desired terrorism financing intelligence is on course, and the level of reporting of suspicious transactions related to terrorism is not commensurate to the terrorism financing risk,” the document says.

Loading...
Continue Reading

General

Is Orengo charting his path away from Raila?

Published

on

Loading...

History of intense rivalry between him and Opposition leader, alleged sabotage in 2013 and 2017 elections and talk of betrayal ahead of 2022.

Loading...
Continue Reading

General

Police Deploy Chopper to Rescue Students Lost in Forest for 4 Days –

Published

on

Loading...

Three students who went missing after a forest adventure in Mt Kenya, Karatina, Nyeri County, were finally rescued on Saturday after four days in the jungle.

Four days without food, the boys told members of the press that they survived by the grace of God.

17-year-old Anthony Muhoro, Jackson Karuri, 17, and David Mukoma Kinyua, 20, went missing on May 4.

Muhoro is a Form Three student at Gitunduti Secondary School, Karuri is also a Form Three but at Ihwagi Secondary School while Kinyua is a student at Nyeri National Polytechnic.

Also found alive were two dogs that were in the company of the three when they were reported missing.

Read: Missing Businesswoman Caroline Wanjiku Maina’s Body Found In A Kajiado Mortuary

The rescue team comprised of police officers who after four days of futile search deployed a National Police Service chopper to locate the students who were on the verge of despair.

In the Saturday search, the Nation reports, the officers teamed up with Kenya Wildlife Service and Kenya Forest Service rangers to comb the forest in search of the students.

In an interview with the local publication, Muhoro revealed that they were hiking when they lost their way back home.

“It was by the grace of God that we survived for four days without food and other necessities. We thought we were going to die and kept praying,” Muhoro said in a phone interview.

Read Also: Missing Thika Millionare Julius Gitau Found Alive – Police

“We literally groped in the dark after losing our way back home. We survived on water and wild fruits since we had not carried any food.”

Loading...

According to the student, the trio entered the forest through Ragati gate but couldn’t trace their way home hours later.

“We found ourselves deep into the dense woods. I don’t know how far it was from the edges of the forest but we were exhausted,” he said.

“We could not even tell the time since it was constantly dark. That is when panic set in.”

They could not communicate with anyone back at home as their mobile phones lost signals.

Read Also: Son To Murdered Kiambaa Family Reported Missing

“We started moving in the forest, literary going in circles in a desperate attempt to find our way out,” Muhoro said.

Days later as they moved around the forest with the hope of finding an exit, they ‘miraculously’ met some police officers and forest rangers who alerted the rest of the search team.

Mathira East Police Commander James Baraza, who led the operation, said the trio’s disappearance was reported at Karatina Police Station the same day they went missing and a search operation launched immediately.

Email your news TIPS to [email protected] or WhatsApp +254708677607. You can also find us on Telegram through www.t.me/kahawatungu

Loading...
Continue Reading

General

Police in hot pursuit of gang that car-jacked a Ruaka resident – KBC

Published

on

Loading...
The vehicle was found abandoned in Kagongo village, having been vandalized.

Kiambu based detectives are pursuing a dangerous and armed criminal gang that car-jacked a Ruaka resident on Friday, before disappearing with his Toyota Premio as he drove to his residence.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

According to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations(DCI), the victim had pulled over by the apartment’s gate at Ruaka One River Apartments, unaware that a gang of three assailants was laying in wait for him.

As the gates opened, the driver’s window was suddenly smashed with an iron rod, before two shots were fired in the air from a pistol in an attempt to subdue him.

However, he managed to force his way into the parking lot, but before he could jump out of the car and scamper to safety, the trio caught up with him and roughed him up before grabbing his car keys and phone.

Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153

On receiving the report, DCI detectives based at Kiambaa launched a manhunt for the suspects.

The vehicle was found abandoned in Kagongo village, having been vandalized.

Loading...
Its rear and front headlights, side mirrors, all tyres, nose guard, boot and radio had been stolen.

Detectives believe that the three suspects are part of a larger criminal syndicate operating within Kiambu County.

They have been targeting taxi drivers while posing as customers, only to turn against them at isolated places, then vandalize their vehicles.

” Some members of the syndicate have previously been arrested and arraigned in court.” Said the DCI

The DCI has cautioned Kenyans on this trend of crime.

KBC-You-tube-728x90-New-2

Tell Us What You Think


Loading...
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Loading...
Advertisement
Loading...

Trending