Eritrea collecting illegal tax in CanadaJune 11, 2013
The repressive government of Eritrea imposes a 2 percent income tax on Eritreans living abroad. Eritrea uses revenues from the tax for operations of its ruling party, payouts to the terrorist group al-Shabaab, and to buy weapons for potential use by Eritrea against Ethiopia. The tax is usually collected by Eritrean diplomats in violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
Canada told the Eritrean consulate in Toronto to stop the tax collections last year. The consulate agreed in writing, but CBC reports that the Eritrean consul is still personally soliciting tax payments.
In an article accompanying the video report, CBC offers further detail:
…The regime relies on diaspora cash for hard currency. But according to the UN, it also uses its money to support armed rebels opposing Ethiopia, and others with ties to the notorious al-Shabaab movement in Somalia.
Because of Eritrea’s destabilizing role in the troubled Horn of Africa, the UN imposed sanctions on the country in 2009, hoping to choke off its access to arms and money.
Canada later adopted them, meaning those who pay are violating UN sanctions and may also be breaking Canadian law according to past reports.
Through it all, the consul has not been shy about his country’s intention to keep collecting cash no matter how Canada views it…