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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Al-Kassar Arms Trafficking Operation Exposed by Mediafax

This is a very rough translation of an article that appeared on the Romanina media network Mediafax on October 27, 2009. TBDA shows that they have been conducting an investigation for some time.

-Shimron Issachar

The contract between the company Romarm and used, according to UN publications, the arms trafficker Monzer Al-Kassar as a front for arms exports for brigades FARC has not been finalized, said Tuesday evening, the AFP, general manager of Romarm John whip.

Contract for supply of weapons to FARC alleged destination was not executed (Image: Archive Mediafax Foto)

"I can tell that Romarm a contract with the company Trowl Services Limited, which aim to contract the supply of products for police in Nicaragua. This contract, like all contracts that we conclude, it enters into force, according to a clear terms, I would say the primary, only after it received an export license to the National Authority for Control of Exports (ANCEX).

Although this agreement was an export license issued by ANCEX, it was immediately withdrawn and while it was valid was not made any delivery and has not received any money under this contract ", they said by phone, whip, agency AFP.

Director Romarm could not specify what were the reasons for which the license ANCEX was "immediately" withdrawn, adding that institutional relations between the institution endorses Romarm and exports "not involve the provision of explanations or additional information.

Whip's statements come in the context of the emergence of a magazine article published in the UN Institute for Disarmament, which shows that Monzer al-Kassar, a leading international arms trafficking network condemned by the U.S.,  has negotiated with Romarm Romanian company in 2007, buying arms which was to reach the Colombian group FARC.

In February, Monzer al-Kassar has been condemned by the District Court in New York to 30 years in prison for having agreed to provide arms Colombian terrorist group FARC.

 "Monzer al-Kassar was convicted following a "sting?"organized by the U.S. Anti-Drug Agency (DEA), which had received large sums for the purchase of weapons, including sophisticated surface-to-air missiles.

The weapons were to be purchased from the Romanian company Romarm , which, as the evidence on record, did not oppose the sale, showed the article published in the magazine UN Institute for Disarmament Research in the field (UNIDIR), available on the website www.unidir.ch.

 In response to those related by UNIDIR, whip said that no representative Romarm concluded any agreement with Monzer al-Kassar and it never provided any price list.

 Also Tuesday, the Director of National Agency for Conventional Arms Exports Control said by telephone to the agency AFP, that the transaction which reported UNIDIR was never completed, leaving to understand that an institution that has not ever endorsed such export.

"Anyone can enter any contract, but this kind of business document contains a clause on consent from us, from ANCEX. Ask those from Romarm if they received any notice for that transaction," said ANCEX official, refusing any further comment.

"Probably to mislead the authorities in Romania", al-Kassar has used an intermediary to purchase arms and ammunition from Romarm. The intermediary was Milan Djurovic, the company Trawl Services Limited, registered in Britain but which is based in Belgrade, write the authors document UNIDIR.

Several instruments found in possession of al-Kassar shows that Milan Djurovic was used in business transactions (with) Transtrade GmbH. The UNIDIR report (said ) and export license C32.7515 was issued (May 16, 2007) between Romarm and Trawl Services Ltd, a copy (of)the contract between the two companies were found on Al-Kassar.

Previously, Nicolae Iancu, marketing director of Romarm, said to AFP that the number cited by UNIDIR is a contract, not a license to export the ANCEX.

It can be a very legally binding contract with a firm, but that has not received notice ANCEX. Maybe just as well be talking about a fake contract, and such cases we have seen in almost 30 activities to Romarm" Janco said.

Iancu, who was director of Romarm and 2007, when Kassar, under UNIDIR publication should be negotiated with the institution, argued that evidence from the authors expected the UN publication and, referring to the fact that the publication maintains that information is contained in testimony of one of U.S. agencies involved in its monitoring of Kassar said that testimony in the courts "may be false.

"The fact that the transaction was never made means that it is not approved by ANCEX without notice any weapon can be delivered across borders or understanding between Romarm and British company has not reached the stage of obtaining export license, "concluded Iancu, adding that the program is not allowed to study the document UNIDIR and does not remember the names of firms or persons involved in the alleged contract.

 According to Iancu, the information presented in the publication UNIDIR are "speculation" and are part of a series of attacks aimed at destabilizing trade Romanian defense industry.

"In recent years (reports occured) in the international press (that there were) items with the wrong destination, real attacks aimed at destabilizing the Romanian defense industry," said Janco, Tuesday evening, (to the) agency AFP, stressing that in his opinion, and information about (the) contract that involved Monzer al-Kassar, a leading international arms trafficking network in the U.S. convicted, would enter into the same category.

Asked how it was possible to conclude such a contract by Romarm, Janco said that an opinion is a pre-export phase and that, in principle, may be concluded "many ways" of contracts, but (th coontracts) do not run until after supplies are approved by ANCEX.

"We are a state company, everything is checked. Work legally, so it hurts me when I see all these defamations" he concluded, adding that Romarm could take an official position "if you consider (it)appropriate".

Al-Kassar had received over $ 400,000 to purchase weapons, funds that would provide money (for use?) by the FARC in drug trafficking but were actually funds the U.S. Anti-Drug Agency (DEA) to organize flagrantului.

Al-Kassar had repeatedly link edarms with companies from Bulgaria and Romania and traveled to both countries to complete arrangements to purchase weapons, "explained DEA agent William Brown in U.S. court which tried the al-Kassar, his testimony was the main source UNIDIR document.

The American agent quoted by UNIDIR, the operation provided by the FARC (to)purchase the following weapons to al-Kassar:

  • 4350 AKM assault rifles,
  • 3350 by AKMS assault rifles,
  • RPK 200 assault rifles,
  • 50 rifle with telescope Dragunov,
  • 500 Makarov pistols,
  • 2,000,000 7.62 mm caliber bullets
  • 120 grenade launchers RPG,
  • 1650 PG-7V grenade and
  • 2,400 hand grenades RGO-78.
 "Substantial amounts began to be sent undercover agents of the DEA (to?) accounts controlled by al-Kassar, and, according to U.S. court documents, he was able to negotiate successfully with Romarm company and other companies to purchase, in addition, (Surface to air ) missiles-air SA-7, SA-16 and SA-18.

Al-Kassar told us that he was in Bulgaria and would arrive the next day in Romania, of the arms contract. He was to meet on May 11, 2007 with representatives of the arms industry in Romania. We useed airline data to confirm that al-Kassar went to Romania on May 10, 2007, 'says DEA agent William Brown, quoted by the authors UNIDIR publication.

During the visit to Romania and Bulgaria, al-Kassar (brought)a table of prices of the companies Romarm (Romania) and Armitrans (Bulgaria), stresses the document, which he cites DEA agent William Brown said that "some of the weapons had been purchased Al-Kassar from Romarm.

Milan Djurovic intend to buy from Romarm
  • 2,000 AKM assault rifles
  • 2250 AKMS assault rifles,
  • 200 RPK rifles,
  • 50 rifles with Dragunov telescope
The total contract value of $607,000.

The weapons were to be bought by al-Kassar with 920,000 dollars and the price demanded (of) the FARC would be 2,005,000 dollars, according to the report UNIDIR.

Trawl Services Company, cited in Article UNIDIR, (was to) provide safety equipment and police protection and commercial organizations (suuport) worldwide.  The company's website (says it) provides armored cars, gas masks, metal detectors and other products.

 The contact is a mailbox in Salisbury, Wiltshire.

UN Institute for Disarmament Research in the field (UNIDIR) was established in 1980 by the UN General Assembly and operates as an autonomous entity within the UN structures

The Rest @ Mediafax


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