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Arrest of Kenyan Exposes Massive Global Arms Trade
Africa News | February 25, 2002 | The East African

Posted on 02/25/2002 8:08:26 PM PST by Wallaby

Not for commercial use. Solely to be used for the educational purposes of research and open discussion.

Arrest of Kenyan Exposes Massive Global Arms Trade
The East African
Africa News
February 25, 2002 Monday

Kenya
L AST WEEKEND'S arrest of Kenyan-born Sanjivan Ruprah, who is alleged to be a part of a major arms smuggling operation to Africa, has brought into the open the extent of the multi-million dollar illegal business.


The whereabouts of Bout remain unknown. Some media reports say he is in Moscow, while others say he is in the Congo or the United Arab Emirates. An international arrest warrant for him remains in force.
For Ruprah is alleged to be a key member of Victor Anatolevic Bout's Air Cess company, which is accused of ferrying arms to rebels in Sierra Leone, the combatants in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Unita in Angola and the Interhamwe who were responsible for the genocide in Rwanda in 1994.

Bout, who is described as "the merchant of death," was the subject of an expose by the Sunday Times Insight team last weekend in which it said that he had used his Soviet military and intelligence connections to obtain weapons from bankrupt Eastern Bloc arms factories. The arms are then transported to some of the world's bloodiest trouble-spots. His operation was originally based in Belgium, where Ruprah was arrested, before moving to the Middle East in 1997.

Bout is believed to own a number of properties in the Great Lakes region, which include houses in Kampala and Kigali.

The original Air Cess operation was small scale but over the years the business has flourished. Bout is now said to control some 60 aircraft, including the largest private fleet of Antonov cargo planes in the world. He employs around 250 people and is said to disguise his arms trafficking empire behind other more legitimate activities.

Air Cess, for example, once carried United Nations peacekeepers from Pakistan to East Timor. Now it is alleged that Bout was also behind the arming of Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The Sunday Times said that weapons were shipped into Afghanistan from Ukraine, Russia and Bulgaria.

The profits from the Afghan operation alone are said to be staggering, with Bout alleged to have made a personal profit of more than $40 million. Britain's MI6 has been monitoring Bout's activities for a number of years and in Belgium, their security services had been watching Ruprah since June last year when he arrived in the country after being refused entry into the UK.

Ruprah has now been charged with criminal association and travelling on a false British passport but other more serious charges are expected to follow.

The UN named Ruprah as one of four men who sold arms to the now defunct Revolutionary United Front in Sierra Leone in clear breach of international sanctions, two years ago. Ruprah and Bout are said to be close associates.

British Foreign Office Minister Peter Hain said last year that the "actions of Sanjivan Ruprah are equally odious as those of Victor Bout. He supplies diamonds and sells arms (to Africa)."

The whereabouts of Bout remain unknown. Some media reports say he is in Moscow, while others say he is in the Congo or the United Arab Emirates. An international arrest warrant for him remains in force.



TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events
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1 posted on 02/25/2002 8:08:26 PM PST by Wallaby
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To: *TerrorWar; *Islamic_Violence;Hamiltonian;aristeides;Fred Mertz

2 posted on 02/25/2002 8:10:22 PM PST by Wallaby
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To: Black Jade
FYI
3 posted on 02/25/2002 8:46:02 PM PST by Libertarianize the GOP
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To: Wallaby
Would that be "Arrest of Kenyan Exposes Massive Illegal Global Arms Trade" ?
4 posted on 02/25/2002 8:59:12 PM PST by TheDon
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To: TheDon;aristeides;Uncle Bill;OKCSubmariner;Hamiltonian
Report: Officials close in on arms dealer
United Press International
February 26, 2002, Tuesday 04:28 AM Eastern Time
WASHINGTON, Feb. 26

A key associate gave information to U.S. and European investigators to help them find an arms dealer suspected of supplying weapons to the Taliban and the al Qaida network, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

Investigators working to crack what some have called the largest weapons trafficking operation in the world, were aided by Sanjivan Ruprah, said to be a close associate to Victor Bout, a former Soviet military officer operating from United Arab Emirates, the Post reported. Ruprah was arrested in Belgium earlier this month, U.S. and European officials told the Post.

Ruprah provided details about Bout's suspected arms deliveries to the Taliban and the al Qaida terror network in Afghanistan, the report said. Bout had long been suspected of supplying weapons to the terror groups, which are blamed for Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.

Bout's arms dealing operation is thought to be unique because of its ability to deliver weapon systems quickly anywhere in the world, investigators told the Post. He is also thought to supply the Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines and rebel forces in Africa.

Officials said Bout was thought to have been flying weapons to Afghanistan more recently than had been believed. They said Rout buys weapons from Bulgaria and Romania. Bout has refused to talk to reporters or U.N. investigators, the Post said.

5 posted on 02/26/2002 5:07:31 AM PST by Wallaby
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To: Wallaby
I guess that should be titled: "Officials close in on illegal arms dealer"
6 posted on 02/26/2002 8:26:40 AM PST by TheDon
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: Wallaby; Boyd
Bulgaria Once Again among 'The Usual Suspects' in Arms Deals

By Yovo Nikolov

The Belgian Le Soir daily has got Bulgaria involved once again in arms deliveries to embargoed states. Some ten days ago, the newspaper reported that four Bulgarian had been arrested under suspicions of arms smuggling and money laundering. A few days later, however, the daily said, the Bulgarian citizens had been released. Bulgarian diplomatic service sources said the suspects had just been called for a check and released, as the suspicions were not confirmed.

Bulgaria, however, is in the focus of the Belgian press in conjunction with an investigation against Viktor Bout, a notorious international arms and diamonds dealer. The Belgian media says 18 apartments in Belgium have been searched in connection with the investigation. There were three detainees: Karlos A., Sangiven R and Julio D. Le Soir reported that empty airplanes had taken off from Ostende airport and then landed in Bourgas where they had been loaded with arms designated for embargoed states. All this happened in the period 1995 - 1997.

The Belgian authorities have not so far made any inquiries from the Bulgarian services about Viktor Bout, born in 1967 in Doushanbe. Such inquiries are common practice. If Bout's traces have ever crossed Bulgaria, it stands to reason that Bulgarian services should have been contacted. However, they declined having been approached with regard to this matter. Vladimir Velichkov, secretary of the State Commission for Control and Permission of International Trade with Arms and Dual-use Goods also declined Belgian inquiries about deals with arms.

Le Soir claims that Viktor Bout is a former KGB officer. What is known about him is that he lived, until recently, in the United Arab Emirates and is among the most prominent arms suppliers for Africa and Asia.

Viktor Bout's name is regularly linked with Bulgaria in connection with the deals he makes with Bulgaria-manufactured weapons. There was significant space devoted to Mr Bout in the 2000 UN Security Council report in connection with suspicions that he had supplied weapons for the Angolan grouping UNITA instead of for the officially declared end client - Togo. In the same report, Bulgaria was accused that it did not adhere to UN-imposed embargo resolutions. Later, Bulgaria was exonerated of these allegations. The investigation, however, showed that counterfeit documents were used, which declared an end client. These documents were made from original copies of a legal arms shipment to Togo.

KAS Engineering Consortium Ltd. (KAS) is the company with which Viktor Bout does business in Bulgaria. Mr Bout visited Bulgaria three times in January, February, and September of1996, according to Le Soir. In 1999, his visits intensified. He visited Bulgaria four times, accompanied by citizens of Russia, Ukraine, or Rwanda. On February 13, 1999, he arrived in Bulgaria in the company of Migusha Ludovic, Kazura Jin Bosko, Johnson Gazangva and Ndahiro Emanuel from Rwanda. By invitation of KAS, the four visited the Sopot Arms plant, Arsenal, Beta - Cherven Briag and Samel - 90. According to data from the Bulgarian special services, an Il-76 airplane, owned by Air Cess, allegedly owned by Mr Bout, took off on January 1, 1998 from Bourgas to Lome in Togo, loaded with special production.

Viktor Anatolievich Bout's brother, Sergei, is a partner in the private Bulgarian Air Zori. In April 1998 he acquired 82 pct of the company. A year later, Air Zori is pronounced bankrupt. The company's manager was Volodia Nachev.

Writing about Viktor Bout, Le Soir involved the Ukrainian air carrier Volare. This company became known in Bulgaria with the fact that in May 2000 one of its air planes was detained at the Bourgas airport after a signal by foreign special services. The plane's crew had asked for a permission to take off for Eritrea (then under a UN embargo) instead of for Georgia, which was what it had declared. The plane spent three months in custody, a period during which an investigation was being conducted. Bulgaria received special gratitude from the UN for its role. Later, however, the plane was surprisingly released by virtue of an ordinance of the Bourgas Regional Prosecution. (A little earlier, Bulgaria's Chief Prosecutor returned from a visit in Ukraine).

Currently, an investigation by the Supreme Prosecution of Cassation is underway in connection with the Volare air carrier against Gen. Atanas Atanassov, former head of the National Security Service.

Mr Bout's connections with Bulgaria and Belgium interlink once again in another mysterious affair. It turned out in 2001, that a phantom plane bearing the Bulgarian initialisation LZ - PCP flew from the USA to Belgium in August. Approached by the Bulgarian authorities, the Belgian side replied that the plane had Bulgarian nationality. There is no such a registration, however, in the Bulgarian aircraft register. It transpired after a check that TIG Ltd company had applied for a registration of such a plane with Civil Aviation directorate at the Ministry of Transport. Among the set of documents, a leasing contract was presented between TIG Ltd. and Tri Star for a Lokheed 1011, registered under number 1152. It is with this initialisation that the plane had landed at the Ostende airport in Belgium.

Yordan Zlatev is one of the owners of TIG Ltd. He is also a partner in Sitrat Air AD together with Volodia Nachev, executive director of Sergei Bout's Air Zori.

A check conducted by the Ministry of Transport showed that the attempts aimed at registering the Lokheed 1011 with the Civil Aviation Directorate, this time under number 1066, continued in early 2002. The procedure was attempted through Ducor World Airlines Ltd. The documents that were submitted for the purpose of the registration included a correspondence between Liberia World Airlines and Ducor World Airlines, registered in Equatorial Guinea. What was puzzling in these documents was that Paul la Roche was pointed out as a representative for both companies. There are serious suspicions that Liberia World Airlines belongs to Viktor Bout. The company was first registered in Gibraltar.

In 1995, it hired hangar No. 5 at Ostende airport. It is believed that Liberia World Airlines was renamed Ducor World Airlines. In July 2001, a Bulgarian branch of the company was registered in Bulgaria.

It is not known where the investigation in Belgium against Viktor Bout will lead to. His ways, however, have crossed Bulgaria too often over the past six years; a fact which makes it difficult for a Bulgarian trace to be easily dismissed.

8 posted on 03/10/2002 6:35:48 AM PST by Hamiltonian
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To: Hamiltonian
I saw a story about Air Zori flying smuggled cigarettes around the proper authorities in Europe. Imagine that.
On another matter:

Ex-PM of Russia intends to be witness at trial against Milosevic

RosBusinessConsulting.
Thursday, Mar. 7, 2002,
5:29 PM Moscow Time

Yevgeny Primakov, chairman of Russia's Trade and Industrial Chamber, has announced his intention to be a witness in the Hague Tribunal at the trial against former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. "I want to be a witness not for but against [the prosecution]. Against the shameful farce that is taking place in The Hague," Primakov explained at a news conference in Moscow, answering reporters' questions. The former foreign minister and Prime Minister of Russia believes that Milosevic had played an obviously positive role in the history of Yugoslavia. [The translation is a bit odd]

9 posted on 03/10/2002 8:40:16 AM PST by Boyd
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