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Organized crime in South Africa threatens the economy, its people and the democratic institutions themselves. Every day we see a number of different and seemingly unconnected criminal incidents taking place - from assassinations to gang rapes in an illegal mining community; and from the violence of the taxi industry to organized cooper theft. But what lies behind all of these actions is a dark web, a criminal ecosystem driven by an increasingly violent South African underworld.In this episode Steph Musho talks to Julian Rademeyer, the Director of the East and Southern African Observatory at the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime about a new and substantial report called 'Assessing South Africa's organized crime risk'.
The Cape Flats in South Africa is made up of 20 suburbs make up the Cape Flats; populated predominantly by black and coloured communities, a term used to describe those of mixed-heritage. Each suburb is marked by poverty, crime, drug abuse, gangsterism and violence. In this, Lindy Mtongana's final episode, she looks at the Grassy Park where a slew of recent killings has exposed the devastating consequences of territorial battles among the Cape’s most dangerous gangs.Presenter: Lindy MtonganaGuests:Julia Stanyard, Senior Analyst, Observatory for East and Southern Africa, Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.Lyndsay Connelly, a community organiser in Grassy Park.Additional Links:Civil Society Observatory of Illicit Economies in Eastern and Southern Africa - Risk Bulletin - Issue 25The Global Organized Crime Index - South AfricaGlobal Assassination MonitorGlobal Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime
Millions of Kenyans have cast their votes in the countries 12th General Election, labelled the most competitive election in the history of Kenya.But as Kenya’s history has shown - the more fierce the political contest, the higher the risk of election-related violence, often carried out by gangs and militias at the behest of politicians, with the aim of influencing the outcome of an election.In this episode Lindy will explore the role organised criminal gangs play in determining political outcomes.Presenter: Lindy MtonganaGuests:Ken Opala, Field Network Coordinator for East and Southern Africa, Global Initiative against Transnational Organized CrimeGregory Ochieng Onyango - a Kenyan activist and an artist. Esther Njeri Kimani is the CEO of Art4Rights Kenya - a community based organisation in Nakuru that uses art to advocate for human rights. Additional Links:Resilience Dialogue - Safeguarding Kenyan elections from criminal interference is urgent(Paper) The Politics of Crime: Kenya's gang phenomenonGI-TOC Resilience FundThe Global Organized Crime Index - Kenya ProfileGlobal Assassination MonitorGlobal Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime
In this episode Lindy delves into the murky world of political assassinations in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Where, according to the GI-TOC's assassination monitor data, for three of the last six years, political assassinations were higher than all other South African provinces combined.Presenter: Lindy MtonganaSpeaker(s): Greg Arde, Journalist and Author of War Party: How the ANC’s political killings are breaking South AfricaChwayita Thobela, Analyst, Global Initiative against Transnational Organized CrimeThapelo Mohale, a shack dweller, and the secretary general of Abahlali baseMjondolo.Additional Reading:Eastern and Southern Africa Observatory - Risk BulletinThe rule of the gun: Hits and assassinations in South Africa, 2000-2017Give Us More Guns: How South Africa’s gangs were armedGun licenses for sale: South Africa's failing firearms controlMurder by Contract: Targeted killings in eastern and southern AfricaThe Global Organized Crime Index - South Africa ProfileGlobal Assassination MonitorGlobal Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime
In this episode Lindy explores the world of cattle rustling in Mali, an act that has existed for centuries. But cattle rustling has evolved into a highly organized form of criminality involving Islamists and bandits, forcing farmers to arm themselves to protect themselves and their herds. Presenter: Lindy MtonganaSpeaker: Deo Gumba, Civil Society Coordinator for the West Africa Observatory, Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized CrimeAdditional Reading:West Africa and the Sahel Observatory - Risk BulletinWest Africa and the Sahel ObservatoryGlobal Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime
The Drugs and Development Hub is an initiative that brings together researchers, academics, policymakers and people affected by drug economies to discuss new approaches to drug policy. The ultimate goal is to shift mindsets towards more socially conscious and public-health oriented approach.This is the second episode covering the DDH. In this podcast Lindy sits down with a range of regional experts to discuss the issues.Drugs and Development Hub TwitterPresenter: Lindy MtonganaSpeakers:Deborah Alimi, Independent Researcher on Drug Policy at Sorbonne University; Chinwike Okerere, the Founder and CEO of the African Law Foundation in NigeriaMaria-Goretti Ane, International Drug Policy Consortium in Accra, Ghana. Monique Marks, the Head of the Urban Futures Centre at the Durban University of Technology, South Africa.Additional Reading:A Synthetic Age: The Evolution of Methamphetamine Markets in Eastern and Southern AfricaDrug markets in eastern and southern Africa: An overview of the current illicit drug economies and recent developments, drawing from the Global Initiative's ongoing studies in the country.A Shallow Flood: The Diffusion of Heroin in Eastern and Southern AfricaA rising tide: Trends in production, trafficking and consumption of drugs in North AfricaWest Africa's Cocaine Corridor: Building a subregional responseGlobal Organized Crime Index
In this episode, Lindy explores the case of Lual Lawrence Malong Yor, a South Sudanese businessman with a compulsion for flamboyant self promotion. But last year he was jailed in Uganda for masterminding a million-dollar fake gold scam. The Malong case is emblematic of a prolific problem in East Africa's gold Market. At the heart of these scams are criminal networks operating in Nairobi and Kampala, with connections in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).Presenter: Lindy MtonganaSpeaker: Julius Kaka, Field Network Coordinator for East and Southern Africa, Global Initiative against Transnational Organized CrimeAdditional Reading:Civil Society Observatory of Illicit Economies in Eastern and Southern Africa - Risk Bulletin - Issue 24Sudans Post - ‘Young Tycoon’ Lawrence Lual Malong sentenced to 6 years in jail over $1m gold scam(GITOC Paper) Illicit gold markets in East and Southern Africa
The attack on Palma last year made international headlines but for five years, Mozambique has been the site of a violent insurgency. The armed jihadist group, Ansar Al-Sunna, has terrorised communities in the northern province of Cabo Delgado. It’s believed that more than 3000 people have been killed, and over 700,000 displaced. Despite international recognition and a regional military response, the insurgency remains. In this episode of Africa and the Global Illicit Economy we explore the origins and drivers of the insurgency, whether there are links to the various illicit economies in northern Mozambique, and its security implications for the region.Presenter: Lindy MtonganaSpeaker: Julia Stanyard, Senior Analyst, Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized CrimeAdditional Reading:Civil Society Observatory of Illicit Economies in Eastern and Southern Africa - Risk Bulletin - Issue 24Cabo Delgado: Africa's Forgotten Insurgency - Africa and the Global Illicit Economy Insurgency and Illicit trade in Northern Mozambique - Deep Dive: Exploring Organized CrimeScratching the surface: Tracing coloured gemstone flows from Mozambique and Malawi to AsiaCrime, conflict and corruption: Nampula as a smuggling hub
Abalone is a fairly innocuous little creature that fits in the palm of your hand. It's a type of sea snail found off the coast of South Africa, and abalone is also considered a delicacy in Asia.It's been driven to near-extinction by massive levels of poaching, in a transnational criminal network that sees local, regional and international players compete for profits.In this episode, Lindy speaks to Simon Haysom about a new report from the Global Initiative called Disrupting Abalone Harms: Illicit flows of H. midae from South Africa to East Asia.Presenter: Lindy MtonganaSpeaker: Simone Haysom, Senior Analyst and Thematic Lead on Environmental Crime at the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.Additional Links:Paper - Disrupting Abalone Harms: Illicit flows of H. midae from South Africa to East Asia.Civil Society Observatory of Illicit Economies in Eastern and Southern AfricaGlobal Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.
In January 2020, experts from around the world gathered in Bogotá Colombia at the Universidad de los Andes for the launch of the Drugs and Development Hub – set up by the London School of Economics, the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, and the Global Partnership on Drug Policies and Development – this initiative seeks to bring together academics, decision-makers and people affected by drug economies to discuss new approaches to drug policy.The original focus looked at development-orientated approaches to drug economies and the resilience of communities affected by drug cultivation and trafficking. Today, as the Drugs and Development Hub launches the next phase, we will explore what drug markets and cultivation look like on the continent of Africa. But we will also look at how a change in approach, following the DDH development-led approach could help stem the tide of illicit drugs and improve the lives of those people affected. Drugs and Development Hub TwitterPresenter: Lindy MtonganaSpeakers:Jason Eligh, Senior Expert for the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized CrimeDaniel Brombacher, Head of the Global Partnership and Drug Policies and Development at GIZ in GermanySimone Haysom, Senior Analyst, Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized CrimeProfessor Etannibi Alemika, Professor of Criminology, University of Jos, NigeriaProfessor Jallal Toufiq, Head of the National Centre for Drug Abuse Prevention and Research in Morocco; and the Director of the Moroccan National Observatory on Drugs and AddictionsJoyce Kimani, Observatory Coordinator for East and Horn of Africa at the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized CrimeJohn Collins, Director of Academic Engagement at the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime and host of the Crime Beyond Borders podcastRelevant Reading
At the end of November 2021, the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime alongside the International Institute for Strategic Studies released the Africa Organized Crime Index 2021 – which provides a picture of criminality and resilience of every country in Africa. The aim is to guide African policymaking and to stimulate debate on one of the greatest threats to the security and development of the continent – organized crime.Lindy sits down with Laura Adal (GITOC) and Martin Ewi (ISS) to discuss this collaborative work.Presenter: Lindy MtonganaSpeakers:Martin Ewi, Institute for Security StudiesLaura Adal, Senior Analyst, Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized CrimeAdditional Links:(Paper) How has organised crime in Africa changed since 2019? (Index Website) ENACT Organised Crime Index (Africa 2021)(Global Index Website) Global Organized Crime Index
Cheetahs

Cheetahs

2021-11-0923:26

The Cheetah – the fastest land animal in the world. This big cat once ranged across most of Africa and into Asia – today there are thought to be only 7,000 still living in the wild. The Cheetah is a protected species and is endangered, but there are a few countries that allow their legal export. But irregularities within the trade system means that abuse is significant – cheetah being taken from the wild and essentially laundered through legal captive breeding facilities.This podcast is based on the report Live cheetahs.Presenter: Lindy MtonganaSpeaker: Patricia Tricorache - Wildlife Trafficking Research Associate at Colorado State UniversityReading:Live Cheetahs, Black Market BriefGlobal Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime
"Joining Kuluna gangs is an expression of anger, injustice and frustration - to enact revenge on society"Kinshasa, a megacity in Central Africa and the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The majority of the 12-million city population are under 25, but rapid urbanisation, a lack of employment opportunities, violence and poverty has seen many of these young people joining street gangs known as Kulunas.In this episode we look at who the Kuluna are; what role they play in their communities and society; the vulnerability of women; the specific Kuluna culture that has developed; the violence that is at the heart of their operations; and their relationship to politics and law enforcement.This podcast is based on the paper Criminals or Vigilantes? Kuluna Gangs of the Democratic Republic of Congo by Thierry Vircoulon and Marc-André Lagrange.PresenterLindy MtonganaSpeakersThierry Vircoulon, Coordinator of the Observatory for Central and Southern Africa, and the French Institute for International AffairsMarc-André Lagrange, Senior researcher on conflict, humanitarian and security issues in central AfricaRigobert Minani, Head of the Research and Socio-Political Department, Centre d’Etudes pour l’Action SocialeRose Mutshanga, President of SYEFES, the synergy of women from civil society in the Democratic Republic of Congo Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime
For decades the illegal firearms market in the Southern African counties was driven by regional conflicts, many of those firearms likely ended up in the hands of criminal groups. But today, we are seeing a much more worrying trend - newer weapons entering the market, some through cross-border trafficking, but more are being sourced domestically. And according to a new research paper from the GI, in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa, a significant number of those firearms are coming from state actors.Guest: Jenni Irish-Qhobosheane, Senior Analyst, Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized CrimePaper: How to Silence the Guns: Southern Africa’s illegal firearms marketsPresenter: Lindy Mtongana(Book) Give Us More Guns, Mark ShawFor other podcasts, videos and research about organized crime head over to the website.
Fishy Business

Fishy Business

2021-09-0650:21

This is a story of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, complex corporate structures, human trafficking, arms smuggling, corruption and the capture of state institutions.In this collaborative episode with Deep Dive: Exploring Organized Crime, we travel to the rich fishing grounds off Puntland in Somalia and a fleet of vessels known as the "Somali 7", before looking into a politically connected company that has an uncanny ability to operate either outside or just on the fringes of the law.This podcast is based on the report Fishy Business: Illegal Fishing in Somalia and the capture of state institutions.Presenter: Lindy MtonganaSpeakers:Jay Bahadur, Researcher and Investigator at the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.Dr. Katharine Petrich, visiting assistant professor incoming at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, CaliforniaIan Urbina, Investigative Journalist and author of The Outlaw Ocean.Austin Brush, Senior Analyst at C4ADSAdditional ReadingJay Bahadur, GITOC - Fishy Business: Illegal Fishing in Somalia and the capture of state institutionsIan Urbina - The Outlaw Ocean.
The Death of Déby

The Death of Déby

2021-06-1447:28

On the 20th April 2021, Idriss Déby Itno, the President of Chad for three decades died from wounds he reportedly suffered on the frontline against rebel fighters. His death could leave a power vacuum in a region that is already rife with instability, fuelling more uncertainty, violence, geopolitical posturing, and criminal opportunity in the Sahel.Chad is a major hub for trafficking activities including drugs, people, gold and vehicles. The porous borders at the extremities contain mercenary groups and bandits, many situated around the vast artisanal gold mines in the north. The death of Déby will reshape the illicit economies not only in Chad, but the entire region.Presenter: Lindy MtonganaSpeakers:Dr Remadji Hoinathy, Senior Researcher at the Institute for Security Studies, where he covers West Africa, the Sahel, and the Lake Chad BasinJerome Tubiana, Independent Researcher, specialising in Chad, Sudan and Libya.Emad Badi, Senior Analyst at the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized CrimeAlice Fereday, Senior Analyst at the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized CrimeAlexandre Bish, Senior Analyst at the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized CrimeReading:Déby’s death will fuel instability and criminal opportunity in the Sahel (GITOC, Alexandre Bish)After the storm: Organized crime across the Sahel-Sahara following upheaval in Libya and Mali (GITOC)Democracy in Chad takes a back seat to military might (ISS Africa, Dr Remadji Hoinathy)Who are Chad’s FACT rebels and what are their goals? (Al Jazeera)Links:North Africa and the Sahel Observatory (NAS-Obs)Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized CrimeProducer: Jack Meegan-Vickers
We would like to introduce the Africa and the Global Illicit Economy audience to a new podcast series that has been launched by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.It's called ‘Too Many Enemies’ – and the series looks at the assassination crisis in South Africa through the lens of a very specific case.In a brilliant bit of storytelling, this podcast is presented by Paul McNally and produced for the GI by Volume.It is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, News24, or wherever you get your podcasts. For six weeks a new episode will be released every Thursday.Enjoy!ReadingThe Rule of the Gun: Hits and assassinations in South Africa, 2000-2017Assassination Witness Project
On March 24th 2021, Islamist insurgents carried out an attack on the coastal town of Palma in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado. The days of fighting, looting, massacres, private military contractors, and dramatic rescues led to thousands more people fleeing to escape the violence.The attack took place just a few kilometres from Total’s $20 billion-dollar natural gas project on the Afungi peninsula and in the same province as the huge ruby fields of Montepuez.Last year the Global Initiative asked how this ongoing insurgency is impacting the illicit flows that travel through the region – after the attack at Palma, we have decided to revisit this subject.This is a collaborative episode between Africa and the Global Illicit Economy and Deep Dive: Exploring Organized Crime.Presenter: Lindy MtonganaSpeakers:Prof. Adriano Nuvunga – Director of the CDD MozambiqueZenaida Machado – Senior Researcher, Human Rights WatchAlastair Nelson – Senior Fellow, Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized CrimeJohann Smith – Independent Security Analyst in MozambiqueColonel Lionel Dyck – CEO of the of Dyck Advisory Group (DAG)Reading:Observatory of Illicit Economies in Eastern and Southern Africa – Risk Bulletin Issue. 17A Triangle of Vulnerability: Changing patterns of illicit trafficking off the Swahili coastPodcast: Deep Dive: Exploring Organized Crime – Insurgency and illicit trade in Northern Mozambique'Criminals and Terrorists': Framing Mozambique's Insurgency - OCCRPHundreds Missing After Mozambique Attack: Government Should Provide More Information About Situation in PalmaAmnesty International: Mozambique: Civilians killed as war crimes committed by armed group, government forces, and private military...
With the release of the new report: A Synthetic Age: The Evolution of Methamphetamine Markets in Eastern and Southern Africa - How do GI analysts research drugs? And what happens when, despite the best efforts, prosecution of illicit actors fails?Presenter: Lindy MtonganaGuests:Jason Eligh, Senior Expert at the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.Alastair Nelson, Senior Fellow at the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.Shamini Jayanathan, Senior Prosecution Advisor for the UNODC.Additional Links:A Synthetic Age: The Evolution of Methamphetamine Markets in Eastern and Southern AfricaCivil Society Observatory of Illicit Economies in Eastern and Southern Africa: Risk Bulletin - Issue 16The Ivory Game, Netflix
Who is Abdul Hamid al-Dabaiba (Dbeibah), Libya’s transitional prime minister?In this episode, we discuss political alliances, crime governance and the changing dynamics of Libya’s illicit economy under Dabaiba and the Government of National Unity (GNU).Emadeddin Badi, Senior Analyst, Global Initiative against Transnational Organized CrimeRebecca Murray, Senior Analyst, Global Initiative against Transnational Organized CrimeJalel Harchaoui, Senior Fellow, Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime
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