Imagine this… you are a member of the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) and while routinely checking the bags of a passenger flying to East Africa, you find millions of dollars in cash in their baggage. While it should and does set off alarms, you allow the person and the cash to go thru and continue on to their flight.
Because it isn’t illegal to carry large amounts of cash, so long as it is declared, anything in excess of $10,000 has to be declared to customs. So the shipping of large amounts of money isn’t illegal according to United States law. But how the money is ending up in the hands of many of the Somali immigrants is.
So how in the hell do Somali immigrants who are on state assistance end up with suitcases with millions of dollars of cash in them? The State of Minnesota is in the middle of a nearly $100,000,000 welfare fraud, much of it being tied to Somali immigrants who have learned the ins and outs of the United States welfare system and have been bilking the state for bogus child care services.
The state investigated 10 daycare centers in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and found that most of them were owned by Somali immigrants…because daycare centers are just like putting an ATM machine with the state’s debit card inside the walls.
The investigation showed such huge amounts of fraud going on, people were buying shares of daycare centers to get a cut of the proceeds, which were in the millions of dollars range, all from the state for services that were never given.
According to the state investigation, much of the money was paid by the state and as soon as it hit the bank accounts of the day care centers, the money was immediately wire transferred into United Arab Emirates bank accounts.
The amount of cash leaving via the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport is staggering. In 2015, according to the report, the amount of cash that was declared in passengers leaving the U.S. for East Africa was $14,000,000. In 2016, that ballooned to $84,000,000. Last year the amount of cash leaving Minnesota for East Africa was $100,000,000.
But the problem isn’t just in Minnesota, it is in Seattle as well. Glen Kerns, until he retired, was a Seattle police detective who was a member of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in Washington state.
Kerns tracked the vast amounts of cash leaving the U.S. thru the Seattle airport and found that the Somalis there were using a Hawala, which is a business that is used to courier money to countries that have no official banking system.
Many Somalis used Hawalas to funnel money back home to their relatives. Many of whom are poor and starving. But much more of the money was going elsewhere. Much of the money that Kerns tracked was going to a Hawala in an area that is controlled by the al-Shabab terrorist group.
And in the case of this Hawala, since al-Shabab controlled the territory, they’ll demand at least a cut of the proceeds. In most cases in Somalia, al-Shabab finances its operations by preying upon the very aid that comes into war-torn Somalia thru the auspices of United Nations aid.
Most times al-Shabaab will extort thousands of dollars per day through roadblocks and taxes on merchants attempting to transport food and supplies to sell to internally displaced people in towns where they are concentrated.
A report on CNN stated that tolls taken from trucks and other vehicles at just two al-Shabaab roadblocks on Somalia’s busiest road pulled in thousands of dollars a day. The UN has estimated that a single roadblock generated about $5,000 a day on the road to Baidoa. If local merchants don’t pay the terrorist group they’re captured and killed. They also began poaching and are involved in the ivory trade.
Al-Shabab began putting together teams of “white-collar militants” who use elaborate taxation schemes to extract money from farms and businesses. And those white-collar militants quickly realized that using the system of the hawala, the opportunities for milking the welfare system in the United States was a ready supply of cash. The U.S. Treasury stated in a report that “the very features which make hawala attractive to legitimate customers — efficiency, anonymity, and lack of a paper trail — also make the system attractive for the transfer of illicit funds.”
That is where the money was going from Minnesota and Seattle to Somalia. But in digging deeper, Kerns tried to uncover where the money was coming from. And just like in Minnesota, much of the millions of dollars heading out of Seattle in carry-on baggage was coming from people on welfare.
Kerns’ source told him that, “It’s welfare fraud, it’s all about the daycare,” he said. “It’s an outright crime, it’s unbelievable.”
In an interview with Fox 9 in Minneapolis, Scott Stillman spent eight years managing Minnesota’s digital forensics lab, mining data from suspected computers and smartphones.
“I have never seen anything like this level or scope in my 27-year career as an investigator,” he said. Alarmed he emailed his supervisors at DHS and wrote, he fired off a series of emails to his supervisors at DHS.
“We are working on and overwhelmed by a significant amount of fraud cases involving organized crime, defrauding hundreds of millions of dollars annually in taxpayer monies.”
“Significant amount of these defrauded dollars are being sent overseas to countries and organizations connected to entities known to fund terrorists and terrorism.”
Minnesota has been well aware of the jihadists in Somalia using immigrants to get their hooks into the U.S. U.S. Attorney in Minnesota Andrew Lugar has stated, that there is “a terror-recruiting problem in Minnesota and may be their best friend right here in town.”
Al-Shabab is the terrorist organization that just attacked the U.S. and killed one Special Operations soldier and wounded four others in an attack on a coalition Forward Operating Base that was under construction. The money to fund the terrorists may be coming from right inside our own borders and having the state governments footing the bill.
Minnesota would be a curious place for refugees from Somalia to settle in at face value. But the state has one of the most generous welfare systems in the country. Of the approximately 150,000 Somali immigrants in the United States, nearly half of them reside in Minnesota.
So how does this scam work? According to the state investigators, the daycare centers sign up families of children who are eligible for state-funded child care expenses. Their surveillance photos showed that as soon as children checked in, they checked right out or in many cases didn’t show up at all. Regardless, the state was then billed for a full day of childcare. And in other cases, the daycare center would inflate the number of children that they serviced, often, far in excess of what the facility could handle.
One daycare center operator Fozia Ali, was a member of the Hopkins Park Board and ran a bogus daycare center that bilked the state out of more than a million dollars in fraudulent daycare expenses. She took a two-month trip to Kenya and was staying in $800-a-night hotel rooms. All the while, she was billing the state for childcare services. She was arrested and is serving time for fraud.
But the money continues to flow freely from the U.S airports to East Africa where it ends up in the hands of the terrorists. And the playbook that was created in Minnesota is now being spread to other states. Money that is being used to orchestrate terror against our troops and interests, is coming straight from our own state governments.
Photo: Wikipedia of a suitcase full of cash leaving Seattle’s airport, heading for East Africa