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Gangs in South Africa questions the existence of Abalone.

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Poachers linked to South African drug gangs are threatening the existence of a species of abalone, a sea snail that is highly prized by restaurants in China, a new report says.



Stocks of abalone are declining at an unprecedented rate, according to research by conservation group Traffic.

The affected abalone species, Haliotis midae, is only found in the waters off the coast of South Africa.

Traffic wants it to be put on the global list of endangered species.

About 96 million abalone are thought to have been poached since 2000.

Every year some 2,000 tonnes of abalone flesh are dried, and smuggled abroad, mostly by air to Hong Kong and beyond, where they are re-hydrated and served as a gastronomic treat.

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South Africa has a number of measures in place to protect abalone, but once they are taken out of the country there are no measures in place to prevent its export from the continent.

The country has been losing an estimated $42m (£31m) per annum through the rampant illegal harvesting of the mollusc, Traffic found.

It says that up to 43% of the illegally harvested abalone was traded through a number of non-abalone-producing sub-Saharan African countries to Hong Kong between 2000 and 2016.

Efforts to curb the illegal trade have largely roundly failed, Traffic adds.

Licensed wild abalone farming does take place and the molluscs are also raised in large vats of sea water close to the shore.

Drug gangs

The study also found that economic disparities in South Africa’s Western Cape province had driven poor communities to get involved in the illegal poaching.

Local drug gangs are believed to be behind the illegal trade, making huge amounts of money as the wild abalone stocks decrease, it said.

“You have whole cohorts of people along the coast that are involved, and their work experience is only within an illicit economy,” report author Markus Bürgener said.

The organisation proposes provisions requiring traders to account for the supply chain of abalone products, so that authorities can weed out illegal poaching.

It also called for the molusc to be listed on the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites), which protects the global trade in endangered, threatened and at-risk species.

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$550m bridge to connect two congos separated by River Congo.

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Two Congos separated by a river, the River Congo, have set in motion a plan to link their respective capital with a multi-purpose bridge.

The project estimated to cost $550m will include a toll bridge, a railway track, a road and a sidewalk, a statement cited by the Bloomberg portal reported.

The first Congo is officially sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest country in terms of land size, the Democratic Republic of Congo. Referred to as DR Congo, better still Congo-Kinshasa.



The other is the Republic of Congo whose national capital is Brazzaville with a commercial capital which borders the South Atlantic Ocean, Pointe Noire.

The announcement was made las week during the maiden Africa Development Bank investment forum in Johannesburg. When completed, it will provide alternative transportation means which are currently restricted to boats or planes.

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The bridge which will span a 1,575-meter route will give birth to special economic zones between the two neighbours, Republic of Congo Spatial Planning Minister Jean-Jacques Bouya said at the forum.

Officials from both sides of the river have signed an agreement to that effect, Bloomberg reported last week.

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The great Congo River is the second longest river in Africa, shorter only than the Nile, as well as the second largest river in the world by discharge volume, following only the Amazon.

It is also the world’s deepest recorded river, with measured depths in excess of 220 m. Its overall length is put at 4,700 km (2,922 miles). The Congo gets its name from the old Kingdom of Kongo which was at the mouth of the river.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo, both countries sitting along the river’s banks, are named after it. From 1971 to 1997, the Democratic Republic of the Congo was called Zaire and its government called the river the Zaire River.

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Ghanaians react explosively to U.K’s deportation of rogue Trader Kweku Adoboli.

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Authorities in the United Kingdom, UK, have deported a former UBS trader jailed for Britain’s biggest fraud over unauthorised trades that cost the Swiss bank $2.3 billion.

Kweku Adoboli, a Ghanaian national who has lived in Britain since he was 12 had serially worked to avert the threat of deportation at a court hearing in London in December 2017.



The BBC reported on Wednesday that Adoboli was due to be flown out of Heathrow airport after he had been detained in Scotland on Monday evening.

Adoboli’s case made global headlines when he was arrested in 2011 and tried in 2012 over the huge losses to UBS, caused by trades far in excess of his authorised risk limits which he had pretended to hedge by booking fictitious off-setting trades.

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Adoboli, now in his late thirties has been appealing against an order made by the British authorities in July 2014 that he should be sent back to Ghana as a foreign criminal. Ghanaians have reacted to the deportation on social media outlets.

He had previously accused the Home Office, Britain’s interior ministry, of having mishandled his case. Among other issues, he says officials falsified a copy of his passport, wrongly asserted he was ineligible to work in Britain, and got basic facts about his life wrong in the deportation order.

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Since his release from prison in June 2015, Adoboli has campaigned for cultural change in financial services. He says he is remorseful for the actions that led to his fraud conviction, but should be allowed to stay in Britain because of strong personal ties in the country and the public interest in his advocacy work.

Born in Ghana in 1980, Adoboli moved to Jerusalem with his family in 1984 when his father, a United Nations official, was posted there. The family later moved to Syria, and Adoboli never lived in Ghana again apart from during a short stint when the family had to leave Damascus because of the first Gulf War.

In 1992, aged 12, Adoboli was sent to a Quaker boarding school in Yorkshire, northern England. He has lived in Britain ever since.

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