In our garden in Harare’s Avenues grew a huge avocado tree, whose fruit – and shade – we loved. When I can, I still enjoy this export item from South Africa (SA) and elsewhere. Yet now I learn from the ever-busy NAD team’s latest newsletter, firstly that Kenya has outpaced SA in exports, secondly that Kenyan gangs have created a black market in the fruit! Drones swarm around avocado plants to deter thieves, while the authorities had banned exports from November to January. Avocadoes will in time even replace tea plantations. It seems the annual output of my once favourite tree could foot the bill for a year for the schooling of a high school student. Understandable that the fruit has become desirable.
Another crime story in the same newsletter startled me. The Danes recently captured four pirates in the Gulf of Guinea – and don’t know what to do with them. Seems no country is willing to prosecute them. The problem is the missing agreement regarding the transfer of suspects between Nigeria and Denmark as well as with others such as Italy, France, Portugal. This is no single episode, other pirates have been set free for the same reason. Ships have therefore resorted to firing warning shots only. Yet piracy is no joke. In Nigeria, criminal networks have specialised in piracy, with allegedly important personages involved. Last year 53 seamen had been kidnapped in the Gulf of Guinea and piracy threatens shipping routes. Should these be disrupted, the global economy would suffer serious losses.
Organised crime has long been a lucrative enterprise.