(GO)-Puntland leadership is deeply mired in illicit sales of fishing licenses like officials at federal level. UN investigators have found evidence of the sale of fishing licenses to foreign fleet in Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Officials within President Ali’s administration are believed to have conducted illicit negotiations outside the revenue-gathering apparatuses for political greed.
With the help of Dubai licensing network, trawlers benefited from large stock of valuable fish. A ‘point man’ identified as ‘Abdinor, and based in Bossaso supplied fishing licenses to Korean vessels.
Meanwhile, Iranians continue to buy Puntland licenses through Dubai Network whose broker’s name, UN monitors learned as ‘Abdulkadir’.
Between August and September, Puntland officials declined to respond to questions-over fishing licenses issued for foreign fleet-and-lodged by the 7-member panel of UN experts.
Puntland administration granted Somali Security Services Ltd. (SSS Ltd.), a company owned by Abdiweli Ali Taar-former taxi driver and sales clerk who comes from the same clan as Puntland President- a license to patrol territorial waters against illegal fishing vessels in March 2015.
UN report implicated Taar, also the former head of now defunct Somali-Canadian Coast Guard (SomCan) in 2000s in corrupt activities including the selling of licenses to private companies.
“SomCan’s practices led to conflicts with fishermen, contributing over time to the emergence of Somali Piracy.SomCan’s first Coast Guard stint come to an end when the company’s own marines hijacked a fishing vessel they had been tasked with guarding, the Sirichainava 12, and demanded a USD 800,000 ransom,” unveiled the report.
Monitors predict that SSS Ltd. may succumb to the temptation of selling illicit licenses to international clients, fuelling the cycle of corruption and conflict with local fishermen-something attributed to the explosion of Somali piracy in 2007.
On bureaucratic impediments, Puntland is at the forefront along with Somaliland in demanding registration fees payment from humanitarian organizations: “In Puntland the range of obstructive practices continued to be experienced, including layers of registration at district level”.
The UN report shed light on possible re-ignition of conflict by territorial dispute between arch rivals, Puntland and Interim Galmudug administration as well as oil deals with western commercial oil exploration companies in the absence of constitutional agreement on resource-sharing framework, in a country racked by bloody internal strife for over two decades.
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