CATF Reports Jan. 10, 2017, 1:40pm


A multi-agency investigation led by the elite Scottish organized crime and counterterrorism units was recently launched to monitor individuals reportedly financing the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) from Eastern Scotland. The PKK was constituted in the late 1970s as a separatist movement determined to pursue independence for a Kurdish state in the southeast of Anatolia using violent means. Police Scotland conducted several raids in Edinburgh in the framework of the counterterrorism financial investigation, but also in light of concurrent allegations of fraud and immigration offences against the individuals identified by the police. As the head of the Scottish organized crime and counterterrorism unit, Detective Chief Superintendent Gerry McLean, claimed on January 7th, Scotland’s public prosecutor will now assess whether the suspects will be charged.

UK territory was long exploited as the ground for PKK criminal operations, including fundraising and propaganda efforts through the UK-licensed satellite television channel MED-TV. In 2001 the UK has taken action against the organization and sanctioned the PKK as a terrorist entity in line with a broader European and American effort to target the group’s funding sources. However, since late 2014, UK authorities have profusely supplied arms and military equipment to Iraqi Kurdish forces fighting against ISIS, which are known to have cooperated with the PKK to counter the Islamic State on Iraqi soil over the past years.  

From the BBC:

“Executive action in collaboration with several partnership agencies was conducted in the east of Scotland.

"Locations were searched under the Customs and Excise Management Act, Common Law Fraud and the Terrorism Act.

"Subsequent investigation identified additional immigration act offences, with a significant sum of money potentially eligible for Proceeds of Crime Act confiscation.

"This operation has provided investigative opportunities to allow continued collaboration with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, Trading Standards and Home Office Immigration Enforcement.”

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