A handful of fugitive members of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), the perpetrator of the July 15 coup attempt last year, have reportedly acquired an arms company in South Africa, as reported by local media there. Fugitive members of FETÖ and Turkish citizens, Vuslat Bayoğlu, his brother Serhat Bayoğlu and Raci Yetiş were reportedly behind the purchase of a South African arms company called Milkor (Pty) Ltd., reported Erika Gibson of news24.com on Feb. 5. According to the news report, the FETÖ members had managed to buy the arms manufacturing company behind the backs of the South African government.
The report also revealed that Jeff Radebe, a South African minister and chairperson of the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC), was not aware of the Turks involvement in the arms manufacturer Milkor.
Milkor is internationally known for its 40mm Multiple Grenade Launchers and armored vehicles and is based in northern Pretoria. However, the company is not registered with the NCACC.
Last week, Daily Sabah reported that according to diplomatic sources, as many as 2,000 Turkish members of FETÖ, most of who had arrest warrants against their names, have fled to South Africa since July 15 last year.
Moreover, the sources also indicated that these fugitive FETÖ members had smuggled more than $500 million into the country and were reportedly using the South African Turkish Business Association (SATBA) for financial transactions and money laundering.
Vuslat Bayoğlu, one of the leading FETÖ figures in South Africa, is a director of several coal mining companies there. He holds a South African ID and has residency in the country.
Back in 2011, South African businessman and former Director of the Umthombo Coal, Matodzi Nesongozwi, claimed that the coal division was hijacked from him and that Bayoğlu had engaged in various criminal activities.
Bayoğlu is a former chairperson at the SATBA and owns Kalyana Resources, which has a 50 percent stake in Umthombo. Nesongozwi alleged that in 2009, Bayoğlu had him secretly removed from the director’s post at the coal mining company.
Nesongozwi also claimed that Bayoğlu had asked at least one company to deposit money into a Swiss bank account, instead of the company’s account.
FETÖ has a strong presence in South Africa and it is widely believed that the group’s leader, Fetullah Gülen, who resides in Pennsylvania U.S. might move to the country, if the Trump administration forces him to leave the U.S.