Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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South African farmer threatened biological terror attack on UK

South African farmer threatened biological terror attack on UK

A South African farmer threatened to unleash foot and mouth disease on
British livestock in a biological terror attack unless he was paid a ransom
of £2.4m ransom, a court heard.
Stewart Maclean in Johannesburg 3:14PM GMT 14 Feb 2011

South African Brian Roach, 64, a married father-of-four is accused of
sending a series of letters and emails to the Department of Environment,
Food and Rural Affairs in which he allegedly demanded the money and
threatened to destroy the UK farming industry.

Papers presented to the court in Johannesburg on Monday, following his
arrest during a police raid on Saturday detailed how the retired engineering
entrepreneur and farmer was accused of posting two letters to the
London-based ministry last July from a post office in Johannesburg.

It is claimed the letters contained a warning he intended to use a
contaminated beef product to deliberately infect Britain’s livestock
industry unless the huge ransom was paid.

The letters said: “We have the expertise and resources to do this very
effectively and will be able to devastate the industry in the UK which will
cost billions to the economy.

“I’m sure we can make the outbreak in 2001 seem mild as this will not be
accidental, but a well planned and orchestrated event.”

The author of the note also threatened to launch a similar attack on the
USA, and added: “We will devastate your farms and then we will then take the
problem to your co-conspirator the USA with foresighted recognition of our

The court papers alleged that the initial warning was repeated several times
over the following months in emails sent from locations in Johannesburg and
neighbouring towns.

It is claimed Mr Roach was motivated by his perception that Britain was
responsible for inflicting losses on the farming industry of Zimbabwe by
allowing Robert Mugabe to secure the leadership following the country’s
independence and by failing to act later against the dictator, whom he
referred to as the “tyrant from hell”.

In one email sent on August 30 last year he allegedly wrote: “We are not
habitual criminals but have been victim of a situation which was entirely
out of our control and attributed to corrupt and incompetent politicians.”

The court papers detail how the threat was stepped up in December, when
Roach allegedly warned he would consider attacking “almost any country with
a vulnerable beef industry”.

The 10 page document presented today details how he allegedly demanded the
payment of £2.5 million in gold in return for not following through on his

Police in South Africa believe he intended to use the funds as compensation
for the farmers who had been forced off their properties in Zimbabwe by the
government’s controversial programme of land reclamation.

An official charge sheet shows Mr Roach allegedly demanded the sum to be
paid in Kruger Rand gold coins and to be left hidden in a garage in a
storage facility near Johannesburg.

He was arrested at 10.30am on Saturday during a raid at the site by officers
from South Africa’s Crime Intelligence service.

Mr Roach, from Hartbeespoort Dam outside Johannesburg, remained silent
during a brief three minute hearing on Monday in which he was remanded in
custody until Friday.


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