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"Dude, Where's My Pandur?"
Defense Industry Daily. ^ | 10-Feb-2006

Posted on 02/11/2006 2:17:01 AM PST by Cannoneer No. 4

On February 3, 2006, it was reported that 15 of Belgium's Pandur armored personnel carriers were stolen, together with radio equipment and field kitchens. The equipment was meant for a Beninese battalion that is part of the UN force in the Congo.Thanks to some help from DID's Benelux reader David Vandenberghe, DID can bring you the details.

In December a ship under the flag of Saint Kitts & Nevis (VRT's report was incorrect) left the Belgian port of Zeebrugge for Congo, chartered by Geodis under the auspices of the UN. The cargo ship never made it to its destination. Four weeks ago the ship was seized in a port in Equatorial Guinea....

The MV Eurocarrier ship had apparently made an unplanned stop without permission from Geodis in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea in West Africa. VRT reports that the four Beninese soldiers that were guarding the material were imprisoned in Equatorial Guinea, while the expensive freight was taken off the ship. This apparently happened about 6 weeks ago; meanwhile GvA (Newspaper from Antwerp) reports that the Beninese guards were released almost in late January 2006; the 23 ship crew are reported to be "under house arrest."

I suppose it's worth mentioning at this point that 15 Pandur APCs actually represent fully one-quarter of Belgium's total inventory. Or a third of its remaining inventory, take your pick.

Meanwhile, It's hard to decide which response to all this has more dark humour value - the UN's, or Belgium's.

VRT News reports that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has already contacted the president of Equatorial Guinea, but reports noted that "these talks did not yield much result." Imagine. The report adds that: "A United Nations team is to set out to the area to inspect the convoy. It is feared however that the expensive material is stolen."

Good idea to send a UN team to confirm that one.

The Belgian army, meanwhile, says that the responsibility for the incident lies entirely with the UN and the freight carrier:

"Army spokesman Nick Van Haver confirms that the ship is still kept under embargo and that the UN is looking for a diplomatic solution. He added that Belgium is only lending the material to the UN and that it is the UN that has to deal with the matter now."

Nothing like calling on the UN's expertise with stolen property. Yeah, that ought to get their 15 APCs back...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: africa; armstheft; belgium; benin; equatorialguinea; guinea; thefts; un; wheeledarmor

1 posted on 02/11/2006 2:17:02 AM PST by Cannoneer No. 4
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Uniformed Bureaucrats in Europe
2 posted on 02/11/2006 2:26:42 AM PST by Cannoneer No. 4 (Our enemies act on ecstatic revelations from their god. We act on the advice of lawyers.)
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The UN Has a Plan
3 posted on 02/11/2006 2:29:30 AM PST by Cannoneer No. 4 (Our enemies act on ecstatic revelations from their god. We act on the advice of lawyers.)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

I hope payment wasn't COD.


4 posted on 02/11/2006 2:29:39 AM PST by endthematrix (None dare call it ISLAMOFACISM!)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

Victims of a tankjacking.


5 posted on 02/11/2006 2:30:26 AM PST by The Red Zone
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
IMO, 1/3 of the WoT is maritime security and the others being Drugs (part maritime security) and money laundering...and of course killing the Jihadis!
6 posted on 02/11/2006 2:34:45 AM PST by endthematrix (None dare call it ISLAMOFACISM!)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

Maybe someone should check the tracking number...


7 posted on 02/11/2006 2:35:24 AM PST by Petronski (I love Cyborg!)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

European bureaucratic ineptitude at its best.

So what would it have cost to put a platoon of *Belgians* on that freighter as a guard detail? Or would they have been as worthless as the Beninese guards?

Now, I bet general UN funds end up paying for replacements for the Belgians, which means we end up paying for the biggest chunk.


8 posted on 02/11/2006 2:35:32 AM PST by FreedomPoster (Guns themselves are fairly robust; their chief enemies are rust and politicians) (NRA)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

Isn't Equatorial Guinea still a French colony ?


9 posted on 02/11/2006 2:37:26 AM PST by Grzegorz 246
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10 posted on 02/11/2006 2:40:24 AM PST by Cannoneer No. 4 (Our enemies act on ecstatic revelations from their god. We act on the advice of lawyers.)
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To: Grzegorz 246
Independence from Spain 1968

In 2003, 74% of U.S. exports to Equatorial Guinea consisted of energy sector-related transportation and machinery equipment. The United States' main import from Equatorial Guinea is petroleum (99% of imports in 2003). In 1999, the European Union (EU) imported $281.7 million in goods from Equatorial Guinea, 89% of which was petroleum and 7% timber.
11 posted on 02/11/2006 2:44:00 AM PST by endthematrix (None dare call it ISLAMOFACISM!)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
DEFENSE
The Equatoguinean military consists of approximately 2500 service members. The largest contingent is the Army with 1400 soldiers; the police have 400 para-military policemen, the Navy has 200 members and the Air Force has approximately 120. There is a Gendarmerie but the exact number of members is unknown. All are very poorly trained, but the government is steadily purchasing new equipment from Ukraine and China among others. In 2003, the government spent $75 million on military expenditures, about 9% of the 2002 budget. Neither the Navy nor the Air Force has trained crews to operate or maintain their equipment. Family and ethnic ties to the president determine promotions and influence within the military. Military decision-making is completely centralized with the President also serving as the Minister of Defense.

Between 1984 and 1992, service members went regularly to the United States on the International Military Education Training program, after which funding for this program for Equatorial Guinea ceased. U.S. military-to-military engagement has been dormant since 1997 (the year of the last Joint Combined Exchange Training Exercise), although their representatives did attend a recent military hosted conference on Gulf of Guinea Security Cooperation.

(Add 15 APC's to this)
12 posted on 02/11/2006 2:46:15 AM PST by endthematrix (None dare call it ISLAMOFACISM!)
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To: endthematrix

True. I was thinking about the French Guiana in South America.


13 posted on 02/11/2006 2:53:39 AM PST by Grzegorz 246
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

Cool looking machine, I am impressed.


14 posted on 02/11/2006 2:54:38 AM PST by Pro-Bush (The world is full of kings and queens who blind your eyes and steal your dreams)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

Belgium doesn't want their APC's back. This "theft" is cover for their backing of certain African tyrants ( read here for FR background on Equitorial Guinnea, France, and Joe Wilson's ex-wife Jaqueline Wilson's involvement).

Belgium had received great flak for selling arms to African tyrants in the recent past (see here: http://www.iansa.org/documents/development/undermining_development.htm , and here: http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/sierraleone/bout.html , and here: http://www.expatica.com/source/site_article.asp?channel_id=3&story_id=20724 )...now they've found a way to get the arms there without suffering political damage...simply pretend that their weapons were stolen.

15 posted on 02/11/2006 3:02:29 AM PST by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: exnavy; archy; SLB
What ever became of the Armored Ground Mobility System (AGMS)Armored Ground Mobility System (AGMS)?
16 posted on 02/11/2006 4:04:18 AM PST by Cannoneer No. 4 (Our enemies act on ecstatic revelations from their god. We act on the advice of lawyers.)
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Equatorial Guinea seizes ship
17 posted on 02/11/2006 4:14:10 AM PST by Cannoneer No. 4 (Our enemies act on ecstatic revelations from their god. We act on the advice of lawyers.)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

New Guinea's new toys?


18 posted on 02/11/2006 4:15:51 AM PST by exnavy (God bless Amreica)
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EG seizes UN weapons
19 posted on 02/11/2006 4:18:15 AM PST by Cannoneer No. 4 (Our enemies act on ecstatic revelations from their god. We act on the advice of lawyers.)
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20 posted on 02/11/2006 4:24:22 AM PST by Cannoneer No. 4 (Our enemies act on ecstatic revelations from their god. We act on the advice of lawyers.)
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To: exnavy

Equatorial Guinea's new toys, unless their dictator gives them to somebody else.


21 posted on 02/11/2006 4:26:53 AM PST by Cannoneer No. 4 (Our enemies act on ecstatic revelations from their god. We act on the advice of lawyers.)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
What ever became of the Armored Ground Mobility System (AGMS)Armored Ground Mobility System (AGMS)?

That issue has fallen off the screen. The last I heard the 82nd ABN CG was willing to foot the bill for four of them, but DA was dragging their feet. I will send a note to myself at my work address as a reminder to check on them.

22 posted on 02/11/2006 5:00:21 AM PST by SLB ("We must lay before Him what is in us, not what ought to be in us." C. S. Lewis)
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To: endthematrix
When Governments Turn to Piracy
23 posted on 02/12/2006 4:28:42 PM PST by Cannoneer No. 4 (Our enemies act on ecstatic revelations from their god. We act on the advice of lawyers.)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
Equatorial Guinea's new toys, unless their dictator gives them to somebody else.

If they paint them pink, would that make them Pink Pandurs?


24 posted on 02/13/2006 1:08:28 PM PST by archy (The darkness will come. It will find you,and it will scare you like you've never been scared before.)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

Well, I suppose it's easier for Kofi to find 15 APCs than the car that
his son bought without paying a lot of duties (UN-connection)


25 posted on 02/13/2006 1:12:28 PM PST by VOA
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To: VOA

LOL! Maybe Kofi could ask them to see if they could find his Mercedes while they're at it!

This is one of the funniest stories I've read in a long time!
(If it weren't so tragic.)


26 posted on 02/14/2006 5:06:00 PM PST by Timeout (I hate MediaCrats!)
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