Abdirizak Atosh and M2A face charges of money laundering and extortion
Somali controversial journalist Abdirisak Atosh also known as Abdirizak Mohamed Muse is facing criminal charges involving money laundering and extortion according to court papers seen by the media.
The court papers allegedly state that journalist Abdirisak Atosh has been using a media production company named Message To Audience – M2A as cover for his money laundering operation for years. He co-owns the company which has been conducting PR and media production for international organisations with fellow journalists.
The other journalists who hold shares in the company told the investigators that they were aware of Abdirizak Atosh and M2A money laundering operations before the investigation. They said they would have informed relevant authorities should they have known Atosh’s hidden money laundering business using M2A.
The investigators are looking into the possible links between Atosh’s money laundering under M2A with some other illegal operations including some terrorist organisations.
M2A has been running media products funded by several international organisations. It is not clear whether these organisations were made aware of the charges faced by Atosh and his M2A company.
In addition, controversial journalist Abdirisak Atosh worked for BBC Somali in the past is facing other charges including using his Facebook page and the company for extorting business community, politicians and other civil society with the threats of spreading defamation stories and propaganda against their interest.
Atosh was recently released from a prison in Jigjiga after he seriously injured a local traditional leader who they had political disagreements. The matter was later sorted out by the traditional leaders.
Atosh and M2A declined to comment on the investigation they termed ‘witch-hunt’.