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Fri Nov 28 21:15:32 SAST 2014

Ivory poaching financing terrorism: report

Sapa | 25 September, 2013 08:46
File photo
Image by: BOBBY YIP / REUTERS

Islamic extremists Al-Shabaab receive a large amount of money through ivory and rhino horn smuggling, according to a report.

Beeld newspaper reported on Wednesday that 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 used 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 R2 million and R6 million per month in 2011 through illegal ivory sales.  

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

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