In this issue of the Risk Bulletin, the leading story covers the largest-ever reported loss of ammunition from civilian or police sources in South Africa, raising fears of increased volatility, and political violence. The three other stories in this issue focus on environmental markets, from wildlife to agricultural products.

1. Ammunition theft raises fears of increased volatility and political violence in KwaZulu-Natal.

Amid the political violence and looting that has gripped South Africa after the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma, in July some 1.2 million rounds of ammunition were stolen from a container yard in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal province.

2. Madagascar’s vanilla industry has become a magnet for corruption, money laundering and criminality.

The Malagasy vanilla market has, in some ways, been shaped by criminality. Laundering of profits from illegal logging reportedly contributed to a price bubble that incentivized criminal groups to orchestrate vanilla thefts.

3. Somalia proposes reforms to fishing licences – will they curb corruption related to illegal fishing?

In this story, we look at how regulatory mechanisms aimed at preventing illegally caught fish have been undermined in Somalia by officials abusing their positions of power.

4. Worrying signs for elephant conservation as data shows 2020 rise in black-market ivory prices.

Our recent analysis has found that reported prices for illegal ivory rose in 2020. Rising prices, along with the disruption to ivory supplies caused by the pandemic, may be a warning sign of increased illicit ivory trade in future, and a threat to the successes in countering elephant poaching in East and southern Africa.


The stories in the Risk Bulletin are drawn from GI-TOC’s network of analysts and researchers, who form the basis of our Civil Society Observatory of Illicit Economies in Eastern and Southern Africawhich has hubs in Nairobi and Cape Town.

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