Accomplices of the terrorist network, the Islamic State (IS) who are on rampage in Africa especially Mozambique are allegedly using South Africa’s financial system to transfer funds to the group’s affiliates and networks across Africa. The United States government has placed embargo on four South Africa-based individuals it accused of facilitating the transfer of funds to African terror groups.
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Recently, South Africa’s banking regulator said there is a high risk of money laundering and terrorist financing activity in the industry, citing the extensive use of cash and exposure to overseas lenders.
A new United Nations Security Council (UNSC) document alleges affiliates of the Islamic State (IS) in Africa are using the South African financial system to mobilize and launder millions of dollars.
In a Bloomberg report, some Kenyan and Ugandan sympathizers of the terror group are said to be raising funds in countries like South Africa. The funds are then channeled to a rebel group operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The report said while the Islamic State is believed to direct transactions that involve global affiliates, funding of African affiliates is normally handled by the terror group’s office in Somalia. Nevertheless, according to an unnamed (United Nations) member of the state, South Africa has emerged as an important center for “facilitating transfers of funds” from the group to its affiliates in places that include the DRC, Mozambique, and Nigeria.
According to the report, the United Nations “monitoring team is aware of several large transactions totaling more than $1 million.” The UNSC document according to the report, reveals that the United States government has so far sanctioned four people residing in South Africa whom it accuses of using the country’s financial system “to facilitate funding for ISIS branches and networks across Africa.”
Bitcoin.com reports that despite being watched, African terror groups continue to millions of dollars in funding from their backers. Al Shabaab — an affiliate of the Islamic State’s rival al-Qaeda — is thought to receive $24 million annually which is designated for weapons acquisitions, the report said. Overall, Al Shabaab is thought to earn between $50 million and $100 million.
Meanwhile, the UNSC document also claimed that both the Islamic State and al-Qaeda might be seeking to receive donations in the form of cryptocurrencies.