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Bank offers $2-3m bounties on singers’ heads

February 22, 2013

UAE-based money transfer business accused of plotting contract killing of two East African musicians

The Dahabshiil money transfer company is promising a $3 million reward for the murder of Djibouti singer Nimo Djama after singing about Dahabshiil’s role in financing terrorism.  This allegation by Djama herself was nearly impossible to find in English-language print media (or even by the blogosphere) when the story began circulating among Somali sources last fall.

One outlet that did report on it was the Somali-Dutch news site, the Suna Times, excerpted below with some light editing for readability:

Dahabshiil—Facts, Violations, and Terrorism

The Djiboutian singer Nimo Djama accused Dahabshiil company of putting a three million dollar bounty for her death.

“Dahabshiil Bank, Ottawa branch has been assigned to assassinate me. They have received three million dollars to carry out the assassination. Dahabshil or Dhiigshiil wants to kill me. I’ve informed the Canadian law enforcement agencies. They installed cameras in my home,” said Nimo Djama in an audio interview on Oct 13, 2012.

Nimo Djama, aka the Mother of Djiboutian Singers, is a popular figure, and was part of the independence struggle in her country, but fled from Djibouti after being arrested by the administration of president Guelleh.

The well-known Somali singer Sado Ali Warsame who overthrown [sic] said Barre regime with her songs also accused Dahabshiil of putting a two million dollar bounty for her death, shortly after she released a song called Dahabshiil ha dhigan (“Don’t Deposit with Dahabshiil”).

Concern over Dahabshiil’s threat, which lost around 70% of its customers, resulted [in] reinforcement of Sado’s security…

A written description accompanying a video published on YouTube on Feb. 11 reveals further details about the hit ordered against Ms. Warsame (whose name may also be written as Saado Cali Warsame):

A Somali super star singer sings against Dahabshiil money transfer

A top Somali super star Sado Ali Warsame, had released an album against the Dahabshiil money transfer which she warns the people to send their money to the company because of what the singer called ‘a linkage to tribalism and extremism’.

The nationalist icon of Somalia top ten super stars, Sado Ali Warsame, who is well respected for her role in fighting against the military dictatorship through her cultural-rich music, is now taking the platform to challenge against all the actors against the pan-Somalia.

Her new song “Ha dhigan Dhiigshiil” which means don’t send your money through Dahabshiil, is a great challenge to the company which currently lost a court case against a well-known investigative journalist Dahir Abdulle Alasow in Breda Netherlands after the company accused the reporter of humiliating figures in the company, goodwill defamation and accusation related to Dahabshiil’s attempt to assassinate singer Sado Warsame.

The song relates Dahabshiil to Alshabab [al-Shabaab], a militant group allied to Alqaeda [Al Qaeda] which rules much of Southern Somalia with brutal laws, and a slow genocide going on in the Sool, Sanag and Ceyn (SSC) regions in Somalia by Somaliland forces, which Warsame is originally from.

Dahabshiil rejected the accusation and sued the investigative reporter whose website waagacusub.com published the articles relating Dahabshiil attempt to assassinate the artist Warsame and the linkage to the terror group and the slow genocide in SSC regions.

But the judge in Breda district court ruled out Dahabshiil’s argument and ordered the reporter to keep doing his job freely, and states the accusation as baseless.

The company’s name Dahabshiil means Goldsmith, while the singer calls it in the song as Dhiigshiil, which means Bloodsmith, a previous name of the company in early 2000s, which the company owners refute to be called now for their business goodwill.

The song had attracted a big number of listeners who clicked more than 30,000 times on one link in waagacusub website and the controversial comments on the songs divided the public opinion.

A comment with anonymous person says, “The song is true, Dahabshiil feeds Alshabab, and I agree that we don’t need to send our money to it”…

It’s not just an anonymous person on Youtube, or even an enterprising Somali-Dutch reporter.  A presiding judge at a 2005 hearing in Guantanamo Bay told detainee Mohammed Sulaymon Barre, “I am convinced that your branch of the Dahabshiil company was used to transfer money for terrorism.”

Now, we leave you with a music video by Warsame.  She sings about peace, national unity, satirizes the terrorists, and tells the truth about the financing of extremists.  For this she gets death threats from Dubai?

UPDATE—FEB. 28, 2013:

Money Jihad has again (see comment below) been contacted by legal counsel for Dahabshiil, who makes the following response to this post:

Dahabshiil refutes the allegations made about it in this article in the strongest possible terms. The allegations are absurd and entirely false. For the avoidance of doubt, Dahabshiil has no involvement whatsoever in violence or terrorism of any kind.Dahabshiil considers these allegations to be highly defamatory and has accordingly commenced legal proceedings in The Netherlands to restrain further publication of them by their original author [of the Suna Times].

By way of background, Dahabshiil is a major international financial organisation, founded in 1970. Dahabshiil operates in approximately 150 countries across the world (including the USA and most European territories) with over 5,000 employees. Dahabshiil has a large and loyal customer base and a number of major international organisations rely on Dahabshiil to provide payment services for their staff, contractors, government institutions and partner NGOs. Dahabshiil has its headquarters in the United Kingdom where it is regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

For further general information about Dahabshiil , please visit Dahabshiil’s website at www.Dahabshiil.com

For media enquiries, please e-mail news@dahabshiil.com

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8 comments

  1. Update: Money Jihad has been contacted by a law firm representing Dahabshiil. For the record, their client denies the allegations above.


  2. […] These reports may reinforce the claims of two East African musicians who say they have received death threats for singing about Dahabshiil’s role in financing terrorism (accusations which legal counsel for […]


  3. […] bribery, and oppression” by Dahabshiil against journalists.  They forgot to mention the death threats against musicians who have sung or spoken out against […]


  4. […] to the glamour and star power of Mo Farah, while ignoring “lesser” Somali celebrities like Nimo Djama and Sado Ali Warsame, who have received death threats for speaking out against […]


  5. I like her songs surely,i dont know her intentions during the songs but she looks well versed with the issues at hand and looks wise on history.RIP sado.


    • Rest in peace, indeed. Very tragic.


  6. […] herself believed that a bounty was offered for her killing by Dahabshiil, a UAE-based money transfer business that operates primarily in […]


  7. […] In addition to these compliance deficiencies, Money Jihad has previously reported that Dahabshiil makes recurring payments to the al-Shabaab terrorist organization in exchange for the “privilege” of operating in Somalia. Member of Parliament Saado Ali Warsame was slain this summer three years after recording a song describing Dahabshiil’s financing of terrorism and announcing her belief that Dahabshiil had put a bounty on her head. […]



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