Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Book Highlights Toxic-Waste Dumping

A recently published book about organised crime once more highlights the dumping of toxic waste off the coast of Somalia.

'Crime, Trafficking and Networks', published in May this year, reports on the links between several organised crime groups in southern Italy and some Somali warlords. Interestingly, the attention-grabbing title and opening sentence of the article about the book, focus on possible links between the Mafia and Somali pirates. But what follows are claims by the Paris-based criminologist, Michel Koutouzis, that it is some Somali warlords who the Mafia supply "... with black market small arms from the Western Balkans in return for permission to dump waste."

Koutouzis then goes onto point out that, "Tonnes of waste are discharged every year off the coasts of Somalia, Sudan and Eritrea under the noses of countless warships which control sea freight in the Read Sea and the Gulf of Aden."

He says that the practise has been going on for years, and refers to 'After the Tsunami', the UN Environment Taskforce report of 2005 that spoke of the toxic waste washed ashore with the 2004 tsunami.

According to the article, both the EU's special envoy for the Horn of Africa, a former Greek diplomat, and the commander of Atalanta, a British rear-Admiral, were interviewed about the information in the book. The special envoy said that the matter was being 'checked'. However, the rear-admiral said there was "...no hard evidence of the Italian link,.."

Koutouzis' response was that, "Of course they know about it. But they don't want to do anything."