REPORT WARNS ILLEGAL EXPLOITATION AND TAXATION OF GOLD, OIL AND OTHER NATURAL RESOURCES BECOMING CHIEF SOURCE OF FUNDS FOR TERRORIST AND MILITANT GROUPS

An Interpol news release on 26th September concerns the release of a new report: The World Atlas of Illicit Flows, compiled by INTERPOL, RHIPTO – a Norwegian UN-collaborating centre – and the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.  It warns that the illegal exploitation and taxation of gold, oil and other natural resources is overtaking traditional sources of threat finance, such as kidnapping for ransom and drug trafficking, which fund terrorist and militant groups.  It also says that, of the $31.5 billion in illicit flows generated annually in conflict areas, 96% goes to organised criminal groups, with this money helping fuel violent conflict.  The illicit exploitation of natural/environmental resources, such as gold, minerals, diamonds, timber, oil, charcoal and wildlife, is the single-largest overall category of threat finance to conflicts today, estimated at 38% of illicit flows to armed groups in conflict – rising to 64% when illicit taxation and extortion by the same non-state armed groups are added.  The report provides the following breakdown of source of funds –

  • 38% – Environmental crime (including illegal exploitation of oil, minerals and gold)
  • 28% – Drugs
  • 26% – Illegal taxation, extortion, confiscation and looting
  • 3% – External donations
  • 3% – Money extorted through kidnapping for ransom
  • 1% – Charcoal
  • 1% – Antiquities

 

The report also provides of illicit smuggling by 7 main extremist groups of insurgents and terrorists, which together have funding estimated at $1 to $1.39 billion a year.

https://www.interpol.int/News-and-media/News/2018/N2018-103

The report (warning: large download) is available at –

https://www.interpol.int/content/download/38205/482569/version/2/file/World%20Atlas%20of%20Illicit%20Flows.pdf

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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