Posts Tagged ‘revolutionary tax’

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Philippines: Marxist rebels make millions from corporate shakedowns

March 7, 2014

The Communist guerrillas of the New People’s Army in the Philippines is still hard at work threatening corporations to pay illegal revolutionary taxes.  And these aren’t just any old corporations—these are companies that have been awarded contracts by the government of the Philippines.  In other words, a portion of Philippine tax dollars that goes to pay government contractors are essentially being siphoned off to enrich the very enemies of that the Philippine military is at war with.  In Mindoro alone, the NPA has netted 100 million Philippine pesos ($2.2 million USD).

Remember, extortion against companies and businessmen is the same phenomenon that once made ETA a powerful force in Spain, and keeps the Taliban in Pakistan afloat today.  See prior Money Jihad coverage of the use of revolutionary taxes to fund terrorism here.

Sooner or later, the payers run out of money or get sick of paying, and that’s when the terrorists ratchet up the violence even further against them.  It’s an extremely dangerous cycle that’s difficult to break.

Read all about it:

NPA gets P100M in ‘revolutionary tax’

Published : Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Written by : Paul M. Gutierrez

“Almost all” private contractors who bagged government contracts in the island province of Mindoro continue to negotiate with the communist New People’s Army (NPA) for their unhampered operations in exchange for the rebels’ so-called “revolutionary tax.”

Brig. Gen. Bobby Calleja, chief of the 203rd Brigade, made the disclosure in a talk with People’s Tonight.

Calleja said recent “subversive documents” they recovered “listed” the names of contractors who are allegedly negotiating with the rebels for the payment.

Specifically, Calleja referred to a “Triple A” (AAA) contractor from Pampanga, who has bagged a major road project in Oriental Mindoro worth almost P1 billion.

At 2 percent of the contract, Calleja said the rebels would easily gain P20 million, which should give the guerillas enough resources to finance their armed struggle against the government at least for the entire Region 4-B (Mimaropa). This armed struggle would enter its 45th year on March 29, the founding date of the NPA.

Overall, the official said the NPA in Mindoro continues to rake in some P100 million each year from their enforced taxation of business establishments and contractors.

The Philippine Army, together with the Philippine National Police, is now hard pressed to stop what they described as the “banditry” and “terroristic activities” of the NPA in Mindoro.

Only last January 24, the guerillas staged a daring ambush in the tourist haven of Puerto Galera, resulting  in the wounding of three soldiers.

Three days before, the group burned down the heavy equipment being used in a road project in the area.

In two incidents last year, on September 7 and November 7, the NPA also burned down the heavy equipment being used for their projects by Jomerias International Corporation and China-Geo Construction, respectively, also for allegedly not heeding their demand for revolutionary tax.

To partly remedy the situation, Calleja said he is calling on the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and other concerned executive officials to “ban” contractors negotiating with the NPA.

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Marxists rebels blackmail Coca-Cola plant

January 19, 2014

The communist guerrillas of the New People’s Army in the Philippines sent letters in late November to major industrial firms in a province of Mindanao demanding that they pay 5 million pesos in revolutionary taxes to the NPA.  Among the extortion targets is a new Coca-Cola plant in Misamis Oriental, one of the most modern bottling facilities in the world.

The demands put the firms in a delicate position.  Multinational corporations with a presence in the Philippines have previously been violently attacked by NPA fighters for nonpayment of revolutionary taxes.  The mayor of a major Philippine city has even encouraged companies to go ahead and pay the taxes.  But, at least elsewhere in the world, multinationals that have gone ahead and met the financial demands of rebels, such as Chiquita in Colombia, have faced prosecution in courts of law and of public opinion for funding terrorism.

Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc. and the other firms that have been targeted should refuse to make the payments.  A local police chief, Rogelio Labor, says the companies “have nothing to fear,” because of the presence of the Philippine Army’s 58th Brigade in the region.  That had better be true, or else these businesses would be well-advised to ramp up their own onsite security measures, or just do business elsewhere.

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Filipino mayor advises paying off terrorists

January 12, 2014

Rodrigo Duterte, the mayor of Davao City in the Philippines, says that the solution for dealing with extortion threats and “revolutionary taxes” demanded by Marxist and Islamist guerrillas against businesses in the southern Philippines is to pay up.

The stunning advice from the mayor of the third biggest city in the Philippines came during his address at the Davao Trade Expo 2013 on October 17.

Duterte himself has previously been quoted as saying that he’s paid revolutionary taxes personally.

Duterte suggested that the corporations in the region simply factor in the payments to insurgents as part of their costs of doing business.

This woefully misguided approach would only end up increasing the money available to militants to buy more weapons and carry out more attacks.  (This is the same phenomenon that is financing the Pakistani Taliban in Islamabad, Karachi, and Rawalpindi.)  Over time, a strategy of pay-offs would also drive up the amount of revolutionary taxes demanded, eventually draining and discouraging corporations from doing business in the region at all.

Let us hope that Duterte’s ideas do not take hold, and that he advances no higher in Philippine politics.

From Davao Today on Oct. 22, 2013:

NPA taxation a reality, just pay them – Duterte

By DAVAO TODAY

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte addresses participants of the Davao Trade Expo 2013. (davaotoday.com photo by Medel V. Hernani)

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte addresses participants of the Davao Trade Expo 2013. (davaotoday.com photo by Medel V. Hernani)

City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte had this advice to agri-business players who might be asked for ‘revolutionary taxes’ by the New People’s Army: just pay them.

The mayor raised this point, along with other concerns on peace and order, in his address during the opening day of the Davao Trade Expo 2013 last Thursday at the SMX Convention Center.

“It’s a fundamental question for business: is it good to do business in the mountains? Do we give in to them?” the mayor asked.

He said as mayor of a city in Mindanao dealing with “revolutionary” and “ideological” groups such as the Communist Party of the Philippines and Moro revolutionary groups, the way to deal with them is to talk to them.

“It’s a matter others want to avoid. But it’s a reality that has to be talked openly, since the NPA is more active now in Region 11, notwithstanding the statements from the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines),” Duterte said.

December last year, Duterte drew flak when his pronouncement during a visit at the Communist Party of the Philippines quoted him as saying that he pays revolutionary tax. A youtube video later circulated accusing him of giving P125 million as annual revolutionary taxes.

He clarified that he attended the CPP anniversary at a Typhoon Pablo-affected area where he gave some amount for the typhoon victims; the funds were sourced out from private donors. He said he merely kidded that the funds were the taxes that he would pay to NPAs, but because there was no barangay captain around to receive the donation, he coursed it through local NPA leaders.

In Thursday’s trade expo, Duterte said, “I can talk, but I can’t talk them out of their ideology. You have to realize the Communist Party is entering its 45th year here. You have to admit there’s been historical injustice committed on the people.”

Duterte said the national government should deal with the revolutionary groups by talking peace.

“Crimes I can deal with it. But with the revolutionary (groups), I give it to the (national) government, but here, I advised government not to make arrests of revolutionaries” he said.

As to the NPAs asking taxes he said “I cannot put it to a stop. So factor that in your investments. If you pay to the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue), you prepare also for the NPA.” Some participants giggled and smiled on this remark.

Duterte went on and explained that the NPAs are open to discuss terms.

“You give credit to these revolutionaries, you can exchange words and deal with them,” he said, citing experience that the NPA could be negotiated in the release of captured government soldiers and police.

The mayor added his account when the NPA apologized for the grenade attack in a gym in Paquibato district that injured civilians and paid 5,000 pesos for all the victims.

“When they informed me they will pay 5,000 pesos, I said ‘good’. When I asked where they will get the money, they said they will get it from banana planters,” Duterte quipped…

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Taliban force businessmen to support jihad

October 18, 2013

Even after formally being out of power for a dozen years, the Taliban has been able to sustain diversified and balanced revenue streams from a wider span of sources than nearly any other terrorist group on earth.  They collect royalties on opium and ordinary crops, taxes on shipments within and beyond Afghanistan, state sponsorship through Pakistan’s ISI spy service, zakat from wealthy Gulf donors siphoned through third party Islamic charities, jizya from Sikhs and other religious minorities in South and Central Asia, and ransoms from ordinary and wealthy Pakistanis—all of which they justify on the basis of Islamic law.

Dawn calls the ransoms “extortion,” which is vibrant and growing enterprise for Mullah Omar’s men:

Terror group sees Islamabad as a lucrative city for extortions

For the last couple of years, the capital city has seen an alarming increase in extortion cases. Unable to trace the culprits, the police say an outlawed terror group is behind the crime.

The banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has a hand in all the small and big extortion incidents. The terror outfit is involved in extorting money from rich people directly and indirectly, a police officer told Dawn on the condition of anonymity. He added that the TTP was found directly involved in targeting big businessmen, traders and professionals, especially doctors. But these cases were not so rampant.

The disturbing factor is that the TTP was also indirectly encouraging small groups to collect extortions and share the money with it. This racket of splinter groups has widened its activities across the city but most of the cases are not reported to the police on time, he said.

The TTP started getting extortions after its traditional source of foreign funding was either plugged or reduced. In the early days, militant groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan used to receive funds from abroad.

Though the militant groups still receive funds from other countries, they are not sufficient to carry out terror activities. This has forced them to look for other sources of income inside the country, with extortion, kidnapping for ransom and bank robberies being the most lucrative of them.

It was in September 2012 when the police arrested three people in the capital city and unearthed the TTP’s direct involvement in receiving extortions. The network had demanded Rs 6 million as extortion from a trader in the Blue Area.

During investigation, the accused disclosed that they collected extortions from traders and transferred the money to Manchester, UK, through Hundi for onward delivery to the terror network.

In June this year, traders of Sabzi Mandi informed the police that a group of Afghan nationals was forcing extortions from them, but when the police registered a case, the group escaped from the area. During investigation of the case, it was revealed in August that some people in Khana Pul, Sihala and Mandi Mor areas also collected millions of rupees every month and diverted them to militant outfits, the officer added.

The second direct involvement of the TTP in extortion came to light when a business centre in Sihala was attacked a week back. This was the second attack on the centre since July 26.

On June 17, Mohammad Raja Asif, the owner of the centre, received a telephone call in which the caller threatened him to pay Rs100 million. Later, he continued receiving similar calls from different local and Afghan numbers.

On July 26, his business centre was attacked with hand grenades in which his office was damaged. The next day – July 27 – he received another call from an Afghanistan-based number and the caller told him that the attack was the result of his failure to pay the extortion sum.

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Marxist rebels go bananas, attack fruit company

August 25, 2013

Left-wing militants have attacked Sumitomo Fruits Corp. (Sumifru) site in the southern Philippines after the business refused to pay the extortion money demanded by the insurgents.  Twenty communist gunmen of the New People’s Army burned six Sumifru trucks and seized equipment from the site.

Financing themselves with revolutionary taxes imposed against corporations and wealthy businessmen is a common tactic of leftist guerrillas including the Kurdish PKK and, until recently, the Basque ETA.  Terrorist groups such as the Taliban and al-Shabaab have employed similar tactics by demanding Islamic taxes from businessmen and shopkeepers within their territory.

A special report from United Press International:

Filipino NPA guerrillas attack Japanese business site

Filipino Communist New Peoples Army guerrillas attacked a Japanese Sumitumo Fruits Co. site in Mindanao.

DAVAO CITY, Philippines, Aug. 14 (UPI) — Filipino communist New Peoples Army guerrillas attacked a Japanese Sumitumo Fruits Co. site in Mindanao, authorities said.

The Sumitumo facility in Bangbang, a village in Mindanao’s North Cotabato province, has been targeted repeatedly.

The Bernama news agency reported Wednesday local authorities believe the attack could have been instigated by the firm’s refusal to pay the NPA’s “revolutionary” tax, exacted from businesses and politicians as the price for doing business.

The NPA, estimated by the Filipino government to have 4,000 members, is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines and has been battling authorities in Manila and 60 Philippine provinces since 1969.

The geography of the Philippines, which consists of more than 7,000 islands, with the 11 largest making up more than 95 percent of the country’s area, adds to the difficulties of imposing central government control.

Not only do the Philippines suffer from an NPA Communist insurgency, but Muslims militants in Mindanao have been a problem for decades.

Insurgency has a long history in the Philippines.

Islam infiltrated Southeast Asia through traders and Sufis beginning in the 13th century. Unlike its spread in the Middle East, it was a largely peaceful process. This process left the Philippines with approximately 5 percent of its population Muslim, concentrated largely in the southern part of the country.

The NPA’s militancy is not limited to Mindanao…

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Al Qaeda makes millions from Mosul shakedowns

July 8, 2013

Merchants, doctors, and sheikhs in northern Iraq are being blackmailed by Al Qaeda to fund martyrdom operations there and in Syria.  At about $1 to $1.5 million in payments per month, Al Qaeda may be grossing between $12 to $18 million a year—a staggering sum for an organization that was on the verge of bankruptcy following the Iraq surge.

During its pre-9/11 heyday, Al Qaeda was pulling in $30 million a year, but had arguably collapsed to $5 million following the invasion of Afghanistan.  Viewed with that trend in mind, the Mosul extortion racket isn’t just a regional threat to Malaki or to Syria, but a reversal of fortunes that puts Al Qaeda back toward the upper echelons of well-funded terrorist groups worldwide.

From the AP via NPR, with some paragraphs omitted for brevity and relevance:

In Northern Iraqi City, Al-Qaida Gathers Strength

by The Associated Press

June 20, 2013

BAGHDAD (AP) — Al-Qaida’s Iraq arm is gathering strength in the restive northern city of Mosul, ramping up its fundraising through gangland-style shakedowns and feeding off anti-government anger as it increasingly carries out attacks with impunity, according to residents and officials.

It is a disturbing development for Iraq’s third-largest city, one of the country’s main gateways to Syria, as al-Qaida in Iraq makes a push to establish itself as a dominant player among the rebels fighting to topple the Syrian regime.

The show of force comes as Mosul residents cast ballots in delayed local elections Thursday that have been marred by intimidation by militants. Al-Qaida’s renewed muscle-flexing is evident in dollar terms too, with one Iraqi official estimating that militants are netting more than $1 million a month in the city through criminal business enterprises…

Other Sunni militant groups, including Ansar al-Islam and the Army of the Men of the Naqshabandi Order, are also active in Ninevah. Mosul is the capital of the Sunni-dominated province.

Al-Qaida’s growing power is particularly worrying because it is thought to be behind the bulk of the bombings across Iraq and because it is trying to assert itself as a player in neighboring Syria’s civil war. The head of al-Qaida’s Iraq arm last week defied the terror network’s central command by insisting that his unit would continue to lay claim to al-Qaida operations in Syria, too.

“We’re definitely concerned about it,” said a U.S. diplomat about the deteriorating security situation in Mosul. The diplomat, who wasn’t authorized to speak on the record, said al-Qaida’s Iraq arm sees an opportunity to try to build support in the area and is “out blowing things up to show that the government can’t protect and serve the people.”

Al-Qaida’s growing strength in Mosul is painfully clear to businessman Safwan al-Moussili. Traders like him say they are once again facing demands from militants to pay protection money or face grave consequences. Merchants say that practice had largely disappeared by the time American troops left in December 2011.

“They tell us: ‘Pay this amount.’ And if it’s higher than before, they say something like: ‘You recently went to China and you imported these materials and you made such and such profits,’” he said. “It seems they know everything about us.”

Small-scale shop owners, goldsmiths, supermarkets, gas stations and pharmacies are all being hit up for money these days.

Al-Moussili and his fellow businessmen feel they have little choice but to pay up. About two months ago, he recalls, one businessman refused to pay, and insurgents planted a bomb inside his shop that killed the man.

“That forced everybody to pay, because we don’t see the security forces doing anything to end this situation,” he said.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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North Caucasus jihadists’ money traces back to Saudi Arabia and Osama bin Laden

April 19, 2013

The seed money of major North Caucasus or Chechen terrorist groups such as the Caucasus Emirate, the Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade (IIPB), the Special Purpose Islamic Regiment (SPIR) and the Riyadus-Salikhin Reconnaissance and Sabotage Battalion of Chechen Martyrs (RSRSBCM) can all be traced back to Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.

Although we don’t yet know to which groups the two Russian-born brothers of Chechen descent who were identified as suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings may belong, it’s important to take a look back at the origins of the money behind the North Caucasus jihadist network overall.

Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade

The Council on Foreign Relations says that, “According to the U.S. State Department, the Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade is the primary channel for Islamic funding of the Chechen guerillas, in part through links to al-Qaeda-related financiers on the Arabian Peninsula.”

The Middle East Forum has more on IIPB:

In October 1999, emissaries of [IIPB founder Shamil Basayev] and [mujahideen leader] Ibn al-Khattab traveled to Kandahar where bin Laden agreed to provide fighters, equipment, and money to conduct terrorism and aid the fight against Russia. Later that year, bin Laden reportedly sent substantial sums of money to Basayev, Ibn al-Khattab, and Chechen commander Arbi Barayev to train gunmen, recruit mercenaries, and buy ammunition.

The United Nations says that, “With Al‑Qaida’s financial support, Al-Khattab also mobilized fighters from Ingushetia, Ossetia, Georgia and Azerbaijan to fight in Chechnya and Dagestan.”

History Commons offers further details similarities between Ibn Khattab and Osama Bin Laden, and the U.S. and U.K.-based imams who have funded Chechen rebels:

They share fundraising and recruiting networks. For example, a Florida cell of radical Sunnis that is monitored by the FBI starting in 1993 is involved with both organizations (see (October 1993-November 2001). Radical London imam Abu Qatada raises money for jihad in Chechnya (see 1995-February 2001 and February 2001) and is a key figure in al-Qaeda-related terrorism who is in communication with al-Qaeda logistics manager Abu Zubaida. [BBC, 3/23/2004; Nasiri, 2006, pp. 273] The Finsbury Park mosque of fellow London imam Abu Hamza al-Masri is used as a conduit for funds for both jihad in Chechnya and bin Laden’s Darunta camp in Afghanistan (see March 1999 and March 2000-February 2001)…

Khattab repaid Bin Laden in kind:  “In October 2001, Khattab sent additional fighters to Afghanistan and promised to pay the volunteers’ families a substantial monthly stipend or a large lump-sum payment in the event of their death.”

Special Purpose Islamic Regiment

In a 2003 study, the CDI found that, “Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network provided much ideological and financial support to the SPIR after the mid-1990′s. Read the rest of this entry ?

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The Taliban’s jihad tax

April 8, 2013

Traditional terror finance analysis has regarded “revolutionary taxation” imposed on businesses and capitalists as a tactic of urban guerrillas such as Basque separatists, and demands for protection payments are commonly associated with the mafia.

But another group is increasingly adopting these techniques in Karachi, Pakistan—the Taliban.

It’s not really new for the Taliban.  (They’ve been extorting money for businessmen and peasants alike for years as zakat for jihad.)  But collecting such money in Karachi represents increased power and autonomy of the Pakistani Taliban, and it’s a trend that must be monitored closely.

This story from the Global Post in February slipped by us somehow:

Pakistan’s ‘Terror Tax’

The Taliban is embracing mafia-style tactics in Pakistan’s wayward port city of Karachi.

KARACHI, Pakistan — In November, armed men from the Pakistani Taliban showed up in front of Ali Hussain’s factory, asking for money in exchange for protection.

But Hussain didn’t have the $100,000 these men wanted.

“Just tell them to go to another factory,” he said to his chief security guard, whom called him on his office phone, as he watched the scene unfold on a security monitor.

Two of them raised their AK-47s toward the tiny camera outside the gate. “You pay us, we protect you. You decide not to give us the money, we’ll kill your only son.”

It’s a scene playing out with ever-greater frequency in some parts of Karachi, Pakistan’s wayward northern port city, as the Taliban embraces mafia-style tactics to help line its pockets.

When four days later, more armed men showed up, Hussain had no other choice but to pay. Before he could hand over the check, he heard the sound of indiscriminate gunfire.

Hussain’s 33-year-old son, the factory’s production manager, was shot. A bullet pierced through his side, ripping apart his spleen and part of his pancreas.

In 2012 alone, police said at least 115 different establishments in Karachi have been victims of what locals now dub the “terror tax.” Many more such incidents may not have been reported to authorities. While other mafia groups are also guilty of such shakedowns in Karachi, the police said the Taliban is one of the worst offenders.

The Pakistani Taliban, also known as Tehrik-i-Taliban, or TTP, is an umbrella group of Islamic militants originating from Pakistan’s northern tribal region. The Pakistani Taliban is not related to the Taliban in Afghanistan, which has a vastly different history and identity.

Just three years ago, it was the Awami National Party (ANP) — a left-wing, secular group affiliated with Pakistan’s large Pashtun population — that controlled the area of Karachi where Hussain’s factory operates. Though ANP-linked men frequently asked small business owners for “protection money,” many businesses were left alone because they already supported the party financially or politically.

These days the Taliban has mostly driven out the ANP. The party’s graffiti and flags, which once plastered neighborhoods here, are gone. Inside mosques, flyers now let worshippers know who is in charge. The flyers instruct businesses in need of protection that the Taliban is available and a satellite phone number is listed.

The Taliban has taken hold of parts of Karachi with disturbing ease, taking advantage of endemic poverty, a corrupt municipal government and a growing immigrant population. Some supporters of the Taliban said the group’s presence has rid the area of immoral activities like drugs and prostitution, making them more popular.

Security analysts worry that — with the Taliban’s growing presence in Karachi — Pakistan’s stores of nuclear weapons and other arms could fall into the wrong hands. Militants attacked a key Karachi naval base in August 2012 that some suspect houses part of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.

Bashir Jan, an ANP official in Karachi, said when the Taliban first began operating in the area, the group had little choice but to withdraw.

“At first, we didn’t do anything,” he said. “But then, when our activists were found dead, we began listening.”

With free run of the streets, the Taliban is now cleaning up on its protection rackets.

Akram Mahmoud, a shop owner in northwestern Karachi, said he pays the Taliban about $30 every month. The sum is an entire year’s worth of tuition for his son, who is in elementary school.

Although many businesses report extortion to the Karachi police, rarely do they respond. One Karachi police officer, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said police are hesitant to even enter large parts of northern Karachi.

“If someone is stupid enough to report a crime, the Karachi police simply file a report. Too many security personnel have already died just for walking into these streets,” he said.

City officials and political activists say that to effectively fight the Taliban in Karachi, a strong police force is vital.

“Instead the police sit and cower inside their stations. We need a better solution, a better police force,” said an ANP official.

But police officers insist they are no match for the Taliban…

Read the rest of the article here.  Declaring martial law has been rumored as a possible solution to this problem.

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PKK terror financier taken into custody

March 1, 2013

A Kurdish-Swede has been arrested by Spaniards along with 21 other PKK terrorists in Spain and France.  The operatives reportedly imposed a common Marxist guerrilla fundraising technique—a revolutionary tax—on their fellow Kurds to buy weapons for terrorism against Turkey.  From Sweden’s The Local on Feb. 16:

Madrid court remands Swede on terror charges

A 65-year-old Swedish man was on Friday remanded into custody by a Madrid court on suspicion of terror crimes connected to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PPK).

“According to information from the Spanish police, he is suspected of extortion for terrorist purposes,” said Catarina Axelsson at the Foreign Ministry’s press service.

The Swede and five others were arrested in Spain on Tuesday in a series of coordinated raids which also saw 16 arrested in France.

Those detained are all suspected of belonging to the terrorist-classified Kurdish separatist movement PKK. They are suspected of having coerced other Kurds into paying a so-called “revolution tax”.

According to the charges, the collections are intended to have been used to finance the purchase of explosives and weapons for terrorist activities in Turkey.

In the course of the raids, police seized weapons and cash.

According to news agency Europa Press the Madrid court released three of the six arrested in Spain, although they remain under suspicion and are not permitted to leave the country.

The 65-year-old Swede, who is reported to be resident in the south of Sweden, is receiving assistance from the embassy and the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The PPK is a Kurdish organization founded in 1984 that fights against the Turkish state for an autonomous Kurdistan, as well as for the rights of Kurds in Turkey.

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