Latin American drug barons have been exposed as a crucial source of funds for al-Qaida by paying them to ensure the safe passage of cocaine across North Africa and towards Europe.
The Long Night Ahead
3 hours ago
For now, we will name two sites where tons of cocaine are concealed in the Gambia. We are talking about billions of dollars of street value of cocaine hidden somewhere in the former British colony. How comes that Gambia’s anti narcotic officers are unable to trace the hidden cocaine? Why is the National Drug Enforcement Agency transferred to the President’s office? How can the NDEA investigate the President when it is answerable to the Head of State? How can Jammeh effectively supervise the NDEA when there is a conflict of interest here? Is Jammeh aware of the information circulating allegedly linking him with the arrested South American nationals currently going to court on cocaine trafficking? Who owns the hidden cocaine?
Yet while these off-grid systems have proved their worth, the lack of an effective distribution network or a reliable way of financing the start-up costs has prevented them from becoming more widespread.
“The big problem for us now is there is no business model yet,” said John Maina, executive coordinator of Sustainable Community Development Services, or Scode, a nongovernmental organization based in Nakuru, Kenya, that is devoted to bringing power to rural areas.
The Malian security forces latest arrests of major suspected drug traffickers belonging to the Algerian backed Polisario Front come to confirm a long running accusation by the Moroccan government of collusion between the Western Sahara separatist group, Sahel bandits and the terrorist organization ' Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb “(AQIM).
This development, certainly, will put more pressure on the international community to hasten finalizing the status of the [Western Sahara] provinces with the adoption of a modified version of the Moroccan Autonomy Plan. Major capitals forced to face the dangerous ramification of keeping the Algerian area of Tindouf lawless and in the hands of a [Western Sahara Separatist] militia incapable of securing an area riffled with drugs, weapons and terrorists.
In light of the Council of Europe report on KLA crimes in Albania, Tirana must stop ducking responsibility for such abuses and start investigating crimes, whoever committed them.
Charge d'affaires for the US Embassy in Freetown, Glenn Fedzer, wrote in the secret cable that President Ernest Bai Koroma personally directed police not to investigate then Transport Minister, Kemoh Sesay.
Sesay's brother Mohamed, arrested as a key suspect in the cocaine bust, is currently serving a five-year prison sentence.
Sierra Leone's government disputes the information in the cable, saying it reflects the subjective viewpoint of an individual and is not based in fact.
Unisa Sesay is Communications Director at the Office of the President:
'Absolutely, as I said, they are far removed from reality and one starts doubting in fact the sources of this type of information,' said Sesay. 'Because you know our newspapers are full of a lot of speculations, rumors. So I mean it is absolutely untrue- What is in those cables is not true at all.'
The cable also suggests that the appointments of Kemoh Sesay as Transport Minister and his brother as manager of the National Football team were possibly made to facilitate drug trafficking.
Drawing from news reports that are seemingly confirmed by an unnamed source (redacted in the document obtained via Peru's La Republica newspaper), the document dated 12 March 2009, paints a disparaging picture of an army that takes payments from drug traffickers to allow passage of illegal narcotics, sells drug traffickers excess fuel supplies (presumably to process the coca into cocaine hydrochloride or HCl), and may even control some drug routes themselves.
Thirty-four per cent of Moroccans admit to having paid a bribe in the past 12 months, according to a recent study by Transparency International.
The facts In agreement with the information obtained by DL in sources the DNCD, the lieutenant colonel Quinones it was catched in Venezuela with a drug shipment it tried when them to remove from that country.
Diariolibre.com adds that Quinones aroused the suspicion of Venezuela’s authorities when he arrived as a 'hitchhiker' aboard a Dominican airline, but passed through the immigration desk as a crew member.
Austrian police have found secret bank accounts belonging to embattled former Croatian prime minister Ivo Sanader, which reportedly hold some €1.2 million, Croatian media report.
The Council of Europe's Legal Affairs Committee today adopted a draft resolution calling for investigations into allegations that top Kosovo officials were part of an organised crime network that trafficked organs.
United Serb List leader Radmila Trajkovic said that her list, a coalition of parties, does not want to join Prime Minister Hashim Thaci's government.
Reporting on the cables, German newspaper Der Spiegel said: “Almost every single sentence in the embassy reports speaks with disdain of [Kenya's] President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.”
The envoy described President Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Cabinet ministers as beneficiaries of grand corruption.
But according to Hon. Osei Kwame Prempeh, the revelations clearly indicate that the drug war [in Ghana] is far from over.
He told Citi News that President Mills’ confession to the US Ambassador that elements of his government are already compromised clearly shows that all is not well.
The Nsuta Kwamang Beposo MP is of the view that if statistics about drug related arrests shows a reduction, as the NDC has been touting, it can only be because there are compromised elements in the government.
A series of United States cables leaked by the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks allege the Ayoob family's involvement in drug trafficking networks through Mozambique and southern Africa.
[Ghana's] Head of Policy Evaluation and Oversight Unit of the Government, Dr. Tony Aidoo, has sought to downplay UK-based WikkiLeaks damaging details that President Mills believes “elements of his government are already compromised” in the drug trade, and asserts that it is not surprising for a developing country like Ghana to be faced with drug trafficking challenges.
Ghana’s Executive Secretary of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) has threatened that he will no longer share intelligence with Ghana’s Western partners over drug trafficking between the two regions.
Mr Yaw Akrasi Sarpong’s threat follows the leakage of confidential discussions he had with some embassy officers of the US over the worsening narcotics problem in Ghana as well as leaked discussions between Ghana’s President and the Assistant Secretary to US President Barack Obama.
The cable, which is among more than 200,000 obtained by whistle-blower website WikiLeaks, stated that Cuban anti-drug officials were frustrated with Jamaica's efforts to battle drug trafficking in the region.
Douglas termed the drugs trade and other criminal activities in the West Africa as 'becoming institutionalized,' especially in Guinea Bissau and increasing so throughout the coastal states. She indicated that the UK has a good understanding about how the drugs arrive to West Africa, but not how they go North from there and how they are related to terrorist issues. Carter said the Northern transit routes are varied across land, air, and sea and that to date there is no information to indicate that the narcotics trade has links with terrorist activities, in particular AQIM. He did add that the Hizbollah networks in West Africa might tap into the drug trade due to its high levels of profit. Douglas agreed it was important to stymie the drug trade before it becomes more institutionalized, before it destabilizes the region further, and before terrorists begin using it as a source of revenue.
According to the cables, Ghanaian narcotics control board (Nacob) officers working with British officials:
• Actively helped traffickers, even calling the criminals on their mobile phones to tell them when to travel to avoid detection.
• Sabotaged sensitive drug scanners provided to the Ghanaian government.
• Channeled passengers including pastors and bank managers and their wives, into the security-exempt VVIP lounge despite suspicions they were trafficking drugs.
Kosovo's prime minister is the head of a "mafia-like" Albanian group responsible for smuggling weapons, drugs and human organs through eastern Europe, according to a Council of Europe inquiry report on organised crime.
There is a brewing tension within Britain over the sense that the budget is being balanced on the backs of the working class, while City bankers continue to pull in massive bonuses. It's a tension that will be familiar across Europe; in country after country pain is being exacted on those who feel themselves to be victims, at the behest of those who seem to be doing just fine. In country after country, occasional eruptions of public passion will come close to boiling over, as they did yesterday in Britain. And the real austerity has only begun; the cuts next year will be far more severe than what's happened already. Inevitably, some real trouble will develop somewhere; the near-miss, finally, won't miss. And in the ugly politics that follows, truly distressing scenarios, like a departure of one or several countries from the euro area, could suddenly seem much more realistic.
'Limited resources also undermine the effort: while there are 30,000 U.S. CBP officers on the 1,926-mile Mexican/U.S. border, only 125 Mexican immigration officials monitor the 577-mile border with Guatemala,' the document states.
'The weakness of the state (Guatemalan government), the pervasive violence, the widespread corruption, and the country's strategic location for drug trafficking are creating a very dangerous cocktail.'
Kenya could descend into violence worse than during the crisis that followed the 2007 election unless reform is speeded up and corruption tackled, a US cable released by WikiLeaks on Thursday claimed.
The information that corrupt Dominican officials provided intelligence and operational support to the drug trafficking ring is included in the charges filed against Figueroa Agosto and Antonio “Toño Leña) del Rosario Puente by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Puerto Rico.
“The accused and his associates obtained intelligence and assistance from corrupt officials for the purpose of promoting their drug trafficking activities,” reads the indictment of Rosario, who is in custody.
In Figueroa Agosto’s case the indictment says that he and other members of his network paid corrupt authorities to avoid arrest.
“It was part of the means used by the group of José David Figueroa Agosto and his associates to make illegal payments to the police and corrupt authorities to avoid being detained,” the indictment reads.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office has also charged former senior Dominican navy officers Miguel Antonio Suárez and Carlos Rossó Peña, accusing them of having used navy boats to pick up and deliver drug loads dropped offshore.
Federal authorities allege they used their rank as Dominican naval officers “to coordinate the airdrops of bundles of drugs in the coasts of the Dominican Republic and then use official ships and Dominican sailors to recover the bundles of narcotics and to bring them to land.”
Organised crime is one of the most serious problems facing Bulgaria. Money laundering, drug trafficking and counterfeiting are hampering economic development. Russian mobsters, including notorious crime figure Michael Chorny, are thought to have links to Bulgaria.