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'Unholy alliance between terrorists, crime'

File photo: Puamelia/Flickr.com

File photo: Puamelia/Flickr.com

Published Feb 4, 2015

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Johannesburg - Terrorist organisations and organised crime are working together, Werksmans Attorneys said on Wednesday.

“There is a convenient unholy alliance that has developed between traditional organised crime groups and terrorist groups,” head of business crime and forensics Bernard Hotz told journalists in Johannesburg.

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“If you look at the rationale about white collar crime, it's about money.”

Hotz said according to the latest Global Terrorism Index, produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace, South Africa ranked in the top 50 countries where terrorist activity took place.

The 2014 index placed South Africa 48th, with 19 other African countries in the top 50. Nigeria is the highest-placed at fourth.

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Hotz said Africa was a hotbed for terrorist activity and organised crime due to high levels of corruption, lawlessness, and lax border controls.

“They want to be able to transact in regions, where there is if we can call it, lawlessness, where there is corruption, where there is lax control over borders, that enables them to channel funds,” he said.

He said his research indicated that several terrorist groups were currently operating in South Africa, being Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, the Islamic State, Boko Haram, and Al-Shabaab.

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“South Africa unfortunately is perceived as having a state of lawlessness, very lax state of law enforcement... and unfortunately, we have got limited (investigative) intelligence,” Hotz said.

Sapa

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