Neglected environment of Somalia

Mv.Al Sahil,One of two seized Dhows of illegal charcoal at Doha port of Kuwait in May 2017

Charcoal production in Somalia, including for illicit export, has continued at a high rate. According to analysis of satellite imagery by FAO, there were approximately 26,000 total sites of charcoal production from 2011 to 2017, with approximately 4,000 sites identified during 2017. In 2017, the primary area of charcoal production has been south of Badhadhe, Lower Juba, in the south-east corner of Somalia, while the secondary area of charcoal production has been near Bu’ale, Middle Juba. Both have been Al-Shabaab-occupied territory.

The stockpiles at Kismayo and Buur Gaabo remain the main sources of exports of charcoal, while the stockpile at Barawe may also pose a threat to peace and security. On 11 and 12 June 2017, members of the Monitoring Group observed the two charcoal stockpiles located near the Port of Kismayo.

The available evidence suggests that the scale of illicit charcoal exports from Somalia has not substantially changed from the Monitoring Group’s previous mandate. The Group conservatively estimates that, other than during the monsoon season from August to October, approximately 15 dhows per month, or about 135 dhows per year, depart from Kismayo and Buur Gaabo with cargoes of charcoal. With cargoes averaging a volume of 30,000 bags, each weighing 25 kg, that would equal 750,000 kg of charcoal per dhow or more than 100,000 metric tons of charcoal exported per year. At an estimated value of $30 per bag wholesale in export markets (see S/2016/919, annex 9.2), approximately four million bags per year of charcoal exports would be worth $120 million.

Paperwork and criminal networks

Monitoring Group named in its annual report on 08 November,2017 one of the major player of making almost all fake paperworks used for illegal charcoal and charcoal traffickers as Bashir khalif Mussawho becomes familiar for illegal charcoal trafficking and fake paperwork making in Somalia.

The utilization of falsified customs documentation, such as certificates of origin, continues to be the primary method for facilitating the illicit import of Somali charcoal. During the previous mandate, the main types of false charcoal paperwork were certificates of origin from the Comoros, Ghana and Pakistan.but,During the current mandate, the most prevalent type of false charcoal paperwork has been Djibouti certificates of origin made by Bashir Khalif mussa,with this paperwork having circulated at Port Al Hamriya in the United Arab Emirates, as well as being submitted at the Port of Doha, Kuwait. Investigations by the Monitoring Group indicate that the primary source of the false Djibouti charcoal paperwork is Basheer Khalif Moosa, a national of Djibouti currently residing in Dubai (see annex 12.2.2). False Ghana certificates of origin have also been submitted at Port Al Hamriya and the Port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates during the current mandate. Other types of possibly false charcoal paperwork still under investigation by the Group include Côte d’Ivoire and United Republic of Tanzania certificates of origin. The Group has also discovered the use of falsified Sri Lankan ship registration documents by charcoal traffickers.

The patterns of the illicit charcoal trade observed by the Monitoring Group have indicated transnational criminal networks operating in Somalia and the United Arab Emirates (see S/2016/919, annex 9.6). During the current mandate, these transnational criminal networks may have assumed a more formal structure. The Group has obtained information regarding the All Star Group, also known as the All Star General Trading Company, which comprises the main illicit charcoal suppliers, traffickers and investors in Kismayo and Dubai. The Group has not been able to confirm multiple reports that the All Star Group has an exclusive agreement with the President of the Interim Jubba Administration, Ahmed Madobe, for the export of charcoal from Somalia. Likewise, the Group has not been able to confirm claims regarding a revenue sharing agreement between the All Star Group and Al-Shabaab. This would, however, be consistent with information that Ali Ahmed Naaji, a former Al-Shabaab tax collector, current All Star Group member and long-time associate of Madobe (see S/2016/919, para. 133), had received death threats from the Amniyat demanding a resumption of charcoal revenue sharing.SEMG investigations have identified Basheer Khalif Moosa, a Djiboutian national residing in Dubai, as the most likely source of the false Djibouti charcoal paperwork. Previous reporting by the Monitoring Group in 2013 and 2014 had identified Moosa as the primary source of false Djibouti paperwork for Dubai-based charcoal traffickers. A corporate registration document issued in 2015 by the Djibouti Office of Industrial and Commercial Property links Bashir Khalif Musse (a.k.a. Basheer Khalif Moosa) to Abet – Shir Enteprise SARL (a.k.a. Abet Enterprise SARL), the front company whose license was suspended in February 2017 by the Djibouti Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for fraudulently obtaining certificates of origin from the Djibouti Chamber of Commerce . the criminal network responsible for false Djibouti certificates of origin.

SEMG report also indicated that charcoal cargoes of more than 2 million bags weighing more than 50,000 metric tons were exported by criminal networks from kismayo and buurgaabo during 2014 and 2015. A conservative estimate would be that Al-Shabaab currently earns at least $10 million a year from the illicit charcoal trade through checkpoints and stockpiles that threaten to peace and security of the Somalia and  enables Al-Shabaab financing and undermines counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency efforts in Somalia.

Mv.Al Sahil,One of two seized Dhows of illegal charcoal at Doha port of Kuwait in May 2017