Stimulant smuggled via Dutch airport for Somali rebels
A Somali Islamist group is reported to be involved in smuggling the stimulant Khat or Qat via the Netherlands. Two Swedish former smugglers have told Dutch public service radio that the radical al-Shabab rebel group is netting tens of millions of euros by smuggling the drug.
One of the smugglers says he was the right-hand man of a major Khat importer who is now serving time in prison in Sweden. The importer regularly transferred large amounts of money to Dubai which was then channelled to al-Shabab in Somalia.
Khat is illegal throughout Europe except in the Netherlands and Great Britain. Reports based on Swedish police information say about 20 tons of Khat are flown to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport every week and that 80 percent is smuggled on to other countries.
Swedish police have long suspected a connection between Khat smuggling and al-Shabab which is linked to the terrorist network al-Qaeda.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide