Somali minister accuses Canadian researcher of hacking email, plotting to kill him
MOGADISHU, Somalia - A top Somali official has accused a Canadian journalist of hacking his email besides plotting to eliminate him in what could be connected to ongoing investigations into the illegal fishing along the Indian Ocean coastline.
Mohamud Hayir Ibrahim, who is the state Finance Minister accused Jay Bahadur and a non-governmental organization of pulling down his personal email account, adding that there is an expansive plot to assassinate him.
Mr. Ibrahim has now asked the Kenyan courts to issue orders barring Jay Bahadur and the Global Initiative against Transnational Organised Crime [Giato] from investigating him over illegal fishing along Somalia’s coastline. Somalia has a coastline of 3,333 kilometers.
Through Giato, Bahadur has last month published an investigative report on the Global Initiative, and it pointed to several government officials, including Ibrahim and Minister for Fisheries & Marine Resources, Abdillahi Bidhan Warsame, in aiding illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing in the Indian Ocean, something which deprived the country of foreign income.
The report stated that government officials used their positions to get kickbacks in return for issuing fishing licenses to companies like Nefco. The 57-paged report also implicated other senior officials in Somalia, but the government is yet to issue rejoinders.
Nefco works with the China Overseas Fisheries Association to supply fish to the Asian country, but Mr. Bahadur’s probe revealed that most of the catch is obtained illegally and with the aid of government officials. Licensing was also done in an opaque manner.
The report painted an image of a complicated corruption web, with all the beneficiaries getting millions of dollars at the expense of the impoverished country. It also exposed several loopholes in-licensing of fishing companies in Somalia.
But despite the damning claims, neither the journalist nor the Global Initiative team has responded to the claims. Ibrahim still insists the two entities targeted him unfairly and should take personal responsibility for the allegations.
Weeks after the publication of the report, through the Ministry of Fishing and Maritime Resources, Somalia has showcased intentions to strengthen the institution by giving indications through a centralized system that now rules out states from issuing licenses.