Posts Tagged ‘mafia’

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Money for terror: recommended news reading

March 26, 2015
  • Hamas was on the verge of bankruptcy until a Swiss offer to cover Hamas’s payroll… more>>
  • Bank compliance officers:  Do you know who your customers are in Latin America?  How about the customers of correspondent banks there?  It could include Hezbollahmore>>
  • The Obama administration appears to have violated long-standing U.S. policy in 2010 by having the CIA contribute $1 million toward a ransom payment to Al Qaeda for the release of a captive… more>>
  • Why effective organized crime groups inevitably seek international business relationships… more>>
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Zakat causes bloodbath in Pakistan this Ramadan

August 16, 2012

Ramadan "donation" firefight

Our first story on the ongoing zakat street war in Pakistan comes from the Daily Times which reports that “the extortion mafia of Karachi generates billions of rupees in the Ramzan [Ramadan] season.”  The Times further reports rampant grenade attacks this “holy month” by the bhatta extortion mafia on Karachi’s small businesses and chain stores:

Karachi extortion : Trend of grenade attacks on markets terrorises traders

The recent trend of grenade attacks of shops and markets that refuse extortion has terrorised local traders and businessmen, besides totally blackened the chances of further investment in Karachi.

All Pakistan Organization of Small Traders and Cottage Industries (APOSTCI) Karachi chapter president Mehmood Hamid said in past the extortionists backed by the ruling parties used to send bullets wrapped in extortion demand chits to Karachi traders, but embolden by covet backing from the corridors of power, now these mafia men are hurling grenades on shops and markets that refuse or delay Bhatta.

He said a famous chain store at NIPA Chowrangi was attacked with grenade. Last week shops at Yousuf Plaza and Water Pump were attacked with hand grenades and earlier grenades were hurled in bazaars of Hussainabad, Liaquatabad and Quaidabad by extortionists. He said the APOSTCI has record of more than one dozen such grenade attacks in Karachi.

He said extortion mafia is collecting forces Fitra and Zakat at the rate of Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000 per shop in Karachi, but the police and administration are playing the role of silent spectator. He said small traders are the worst affected segment of society due to Karachi lawlessness and a lot of small trades and cottage industries have closed their doors for good due to lack of business. He demanded of the government to realise the gravity of the situation as the ongoing ‘Bhatta war’ in Karachi is hitting hard the economy of not only Karachi but also the whole country.

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“Illegal taxes” collected in Karachi

November 25, 2010

Pakistan is crawling with mafia syndicates—the drug mafia, the land mafia, the weapons mafia.  But the father of all three is the “bhatta” mafia.  Bhatta refers to extortion.

The bhatta mafia have become increasingly active this year especially against businessmen in Karachi.  Cattle ranchers, rickshaw drivers, gold dealers, paper traders, furniture makers—nobody is immune:

But these may not be simple cases of criminal extortion.  According to a recent Express Tribune article, “Also, during Eid, Mehsud tribesmen living in Karachi are forced to pay ‘bhatta’ in the name of donations for fighters in Waziristan. ‘Last Eid, we received reports that ‘parchiyaan’ (tickets)* were collected from each trader in Sohrab Goth (in Karachi) for this purpose,’ Shahid said.”  The Express Tribune refers to such collections as “illegal taxes.”  Some call them “jagga taxes.”

Bhatta may go against Pakistan’s criminal laws, but taxes against traders—both Muslims and infidels—are required under Islamic law.  Customs duties on articles of trade are regarded as a type of zakat.

* A parchi is a slip of paper with an extortion demand.