Somalia: US Imposes Sanctions on Shebab Money Laundering Network

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The Somali terrorist group is said to utilize individuals and companies based abroad to grow its wealth and finance its violent activities. Therefore, on Tuesday, Washington decided to take action by targeting the organization’s financial assets.

According to American officials, the Shebab group generates $100 million annually by extorting local businesses and individuals. They also rely on international networks. Consequently, Washington has opted to block what it deems a “vast commercial network” stretching from East Africa to the Gulf, including Cyprus.

Among the most active entities are two companies based in the United Arab Emirates with branches in Kenya, Uganda, and Cyprus. These companies are allegedly used to generate, launder, and transfer funds belonging to the Islamists.

Individuals residing in the Horn of Africa, the Gulf, and even Finland are also targeted. Many of them plan investment projects that subsequently enable the Shebabs to launder their money. They also aid in fund transfers and manage companies supporting the terrorists.

Following this decision, all assets in the United States related to those targeted must be blocked and reported. Anyone engaging in transactions with them also risks facing sanctions.

The United States hopes to destabilize the Shebabs, known for their resilience. A year ago, the Somali government announced the closure of the financial infrastructure supporting the Islamists, including all known bank accounts linked to the movement. However, the group managed to find new resources and continue its operations.


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