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The Global Arms Trade
An international industry, referred to by Andrew j Baccevich (retired US Army Colonel)
as one of – "...greed, venality, and rampant corruption pervading the global arms trade."
which has fostered bribery and promoted wars in its own self interest. (Feinstein 2011)
To quote
Andrew Feinstein directly –
"A basic commitment to universal human rights, equality and justice, to the belief that it is better to save a life by feeding a hungry stomach than to take a life by producing another deadly weapon, demands that this trade,
one of the most destructive and corrupting in human history,
cannot be allowed to continue in its unregulated, unscrutinized current form."
bold type mine.
In Serbia – Greek, BASIL ZAHAROFF,
German arms are supplied to both sides in the Spanish Civil War via Greece, using fake Greek then Mexican end-user certificates.
November 4: In the US, President Rooseveldt signs an amendment to the Neutrality Act into law, repealing the US embargo on arms sales to foreign powers, provided they pay cash and use non-US ships for transport, hereby ending US neutrality.
In France – Jewish MARCEL DASSAULT (born BLOCH) becomes a Deputy of the French Parliament, and designs and builds the Mirage fighter-jet with its delta-wing and rocket booster.
In the USA – President Dwight Eisenhower warns of the "rise of the military complex" and the dangers it poses for the international community.
In South Africa – Leon van Rensburg facilitates the smuggling of weapons from France (Matra missiles) and from the United States to South Africa's military on behalf of Armscor. (Advocate Oosthuizen in Pretoria acts as the front-man for Armscor).
As personally
informed by Leon
In Britain – BAE becomes a public limited company.
In Britain – BAE buys Royal Ordinance
December: In Liberia – CHARLES TAYLOR launches a Gaddafi-funded armed uprising from the Ivory Coast into Liberia to overthrow the Doe regime, leading to the First Liberian Civil War
In Angola – Unita sells diamonds to De Beers to fund their bloody civil war with South Africa's Armscor supplied weapons.
March – Britain's royal yacht Britannica docks in Cape Town for their Queen's visit, and displays a British armament's industry exhibition.
December 22: LEONID MININ personally ferries guns and other equipment from Niamey in Niger to Monrovia, Liberia, where President Charles Taylor's armed forces ferry them to Freetown to attack and massacre civilians.
January 6, 3AM: In Freetown, Sierra Leone –
In South Africa – The government announces a $3 billion purchase of military equipment, includimg Hawk and Gripen jets from BAE and Saab, submarines from Germany, and helicopters from Italy (50% of the cost being the purchase of jets). The eventual cost amounts about 250% of that figure.
October 5: A special payment of £100,000 is made to Arstow Commercial Corporation (registered in the Virgin Islands) by BAE, after the South African government announces the purchase of the Hawk and Grippen aircraft.
Cape Town, South Africa – Patricia de Lille uses information in parliament, supplied to her by Bheki Jacobs (born Hassen Solomon in Durban on June 9, 1962) to expose the SA government's arms deal corruption. Jacobs had operated as an African National Congress spy, trained in the Soviet Union. One of his passports names him as Uranin Vladimir Dzerzhinsky Solomons.
Jacobs also informed that the leader of the South African Communist Party Chris Hani was murdered before he could expose the role that former defence minister Joe Modise played in the corrupt arms deal, and that Modise didn’t die of cancer; he was poisoned.
Later, in October 2014, Terry Crawford-Browne testifies in Pretoria to the South African Seriti Commission of Inquiry into the Arms Deal
"I was told by Bheki Jacobs six weeks before Mr Modise died [in 2001] that he was being poisoned, and that his death would be ascribed to cancer ...Mr Modise was known to have many enemies and it is also known there was considerable animosity between him and Mr Chris Hani dating from their times in exile."
December 2: BAE approves payment of $4 million to Hudersfield Enterprises Inc. (a covert company set up by BAE agent Richard Carter).
August 4: In Italy – In Room 341 of a hotel in Cinisello Balsamo near Milan, police raid the room of LEONID MININ (Леонід Юхимович Минин) majority owner of the hotel, a Ukrainian-born Israeli (see below), They find, apart from his cocaine and diamonds, documents detailing his sale of millions of dollars of weapons to the Liberian government in exchange for diamond and timber concessions.
See: Minin's weapons
fake enduser certificate
November: In Johannesburg, South Africa – Israeli gangster and diamond smuggler Shai Avissar is gunned down.
In Thailand – Russian VIKTOR BOUT (Виктор Анатольевич Бут, aka Vadim Markovich Aminov, Viktor Bulakin, Victor Anatoliyevich Bout, Victor But, Viktor Budd) is arrested, and eventually extradited to the United States in 2010, to stand trial on terrorism charges after having been accused of intending to smuggle arms to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to use against U.S. forces. Following his conviction, he was sentenced on 5 April 2012 to 25 years imprisonment by a U.S. judge. In June 2012 he was transferred to the United States Penitentiary, Marion, Illinois.
In Belgium – FN Herstal agree to sell Belgian guns to the Gaddafi government of Libya: 367 F2000 rifles, each fitted with an LG1 under-barrel grenade launcher, plus 367 P90 submachine guns, 367 Five-seven handguns, 50 Browning Hi-Power "Renaissance" handguns, 30 Minimi light machine guns, 2,000 FN 303 less-lethal launchers, and more than a million rounds of differing ammunition types. They would be paid more than 12m euros. (The UN arms embargo had been lifted in 2003, and a separate EU arms embargo came to an end in 2004).
By November 2009, the weapons from the deal have all arrived in Libya, and go to equip the 32nd Reinforced Brigade, popularly known as the "Khamis" Brigade after its commanding officer, Khamis Gaddafi, the president's youngest son.
According to evidence gathered by Human Rights Watch, the brigade went on to commit a number of human rights violations, including the summary execution of some 45 detainees in Salahaddin, near Tripoli, on 23 August 2011.
29: In South Africa – The Constitutional Court rules (Case CCT 86/06 ZACC7) that –
"Counsel for the appellants [Schabir Shaik and his companies] very properly conceded in argument that, given the criminal conviction of Mr Shaik, it must be accepted for the purpose of these proceeding that Mr Shaik did pay bribes to Mr Zuma [R500,000 a year] . . .
   The payments were made by Mr Shaik in order to influence Mr Zuma to promote Mr Shaik's business interests and, in attending the meeting [with Thomson-CSF] in London in July 1998, Mr Zuma did, as a matter of fact, promote Mr Shaik's interests."
The charges of corruption
are controversially dropped
after Zuma becomes ANC president, ten days before becoming
South Africa's president.
The United Nations commits to pursue an international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), opposed by America's National Rifle Association, which enters into force 24 December 2014 (Russian Federation and China abstain) in an attempt to regulate the international trade of conventional weapons for the purpose of contributing to international and regional peace, reducing human suffering, and promoting co-operation, transparency and responsible action by and among states.
June: South Africa's Noseweek magazine reveals Jewish rugby Springbok Wilf Rosenberg to be a significant diamond smuggler and long-time member of the Israeli mafia. Shelly Rosenberg, Wilf's second wife who reportedly received divorce papers from him in October 2010, says in the article, "Wilfred was part of The Syndicate, the Israeli Mafia".
June 29: The 'Costs of War' project, at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Sudies (Eisenhower Research Project), estimates that since the 9/11 attack, the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan have cost almost a quarter of a million lives and up to US$4 trillion, and almost eight million people have been displaced as refugees.
October: In Pretoria, South Africa – Arms deal critic Terry Crawford-Browne tells the Arms Inquiry hearings that
"South Africans have been financially raped by the international war business and their governments".
In a sworn statement, Crawford-Browne states that in 2005 Barclays Bank used the loan agreement with British arms manufacturer BAE Systems and its "catastrophic" default clauses to strong-arm then Finance Minister Trevor Manuel to approve the takeover of Absa bank: "Absa and its South African clients have since been milked by Barclays Bank and, as payback, Ms Maria Ramos [now Mrs Manuel] was appointed chief executive of Absa, which is currently being re-branded to Barclays Africa," said Crawford-Browne.
also states in the South African Arms Inquiry that evidence shows –
    (1) Barclays Bank of England financed South Africa's acquisition of the BAE Hawk and the BAE/Saab Gripen fighter aircraft;
    (2) Commmerzbank of Germany financed the purchase of the four frigates and three submarines;
    (3) Societe Generale in France financed Thomson CSF combat suites in the German frigates; and
    (4) Mediocredito Centrale in Italy backed the purchase of 30 Augusta helicopters.
In the UK – Amnesty International and Saferworld say more than 100 licences for arms exports to Saudi Arabia have been issued since bombing in Yemen began in March 2015, with a value of £1.75bn in the first half of 2015.
The Parliamentary/Commons watchdog on the export of weapons and military equipment was not re-established at the beginning of this parliament last May after its chair Sir John Stanley retired in March following 15 years at the helm. The watchdog committee had been instrumental in embarrassing the UK coalition government over its decision to allow the sale of chemicals that could have been used for nerve agent weapons in Syria.
Law firm Leigh Day, representing Campaign Against Arms Trade, is considering legal action against the government unless it suspends all licences permitting UK-produced arms to be sent to Saudi Arabia. The law firm and campaigners said the Department of Business has failed to reassure them that the government was following its own rules when assessing the risk that the goods exported might be used in contravention of international humanitarian law. Ann Clwyd, Labour MP for Cynon Valley, who was on the watchdog committee for years, called for the watchdog to be established urgently as she expressed suspicions that there were forces who did want arms sales scrutinised.
of the worst individual traders involved in this global trade (not in any particular order):
Details – 1
Viktor Bout: Viktor Anatolyevich Bout (Виктор Анатольевич Бут), the most notorious arms smuggler, currently faces seeing out the rest of his life behind bars. Extradited from Thailand to America in 2010 following a five-year operation by their DEA, the Russian national stands accused of illegally arming the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia in their operations against US forces. The jury found him guilty and at a court in Manhattan on 2 November 2011, and on 5 April 2012, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison (the minimum sentence) for conspiring to sell weapons to a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist group.
Bout is reported to have made substantial amounts of money shipping goods in Africa and the Middle East in the 1990s and 2000s, and the former military translator for the Soviet Union may well have fed the flames of various African civil wars by supplying vast quantities of arms during the Nineties. He has also been dubbed a “sanctions buster” because of allegations that he violated UN arms embargoes in trading with Angola, Liberia, Sierra Leone and the Congo during the same decade. In 2001 Bout was furthermore implicated in the movement of gold and cash out of Afghanistan.

In U.S. prison
a.k.a. Victor Bout,
a.k.a. Victor Anatoliyevich Bout,
a.k.a. Viktor Bulakin,
a.k.a. Viktor Butt,
a.k.a. Vadim Markovich Aminov,
a.k.a. Viktor Budd, a.k.a. Boris
Leonid Efimovich Minin: a Jewish Ukrainian by birth (Леонід Юхимович Минин), born Leonid Bluvstein in Odessa, is a notorious international arms dealer with links to the Ukrainian mafia (Neftemafija). Born in 1947, he moved to Israel in the 1970s. He was arrested by the German authorities later in the same decade for using false identification as well as under suspicion of art theft. His customers in the arms trade have allegedly included the Liberian dictator Charles Taylor as well as the Revolutionary United Front group which operated in Sierra Leone. The weapons that Minin dealt in are held to have had their origins in the Russian arms company Aviatrend, a group also involved in money laundering connected with toppled Yugoslav president Slobodan Miloševic.
In June 1997, Minin was informed by letter that he was no longer welcome in Monaco, his German visa was repealed, and his name entered on the EU Schengen Index as 'a person not to be admitted'. Arrested by Italian authorities in 2000 for illegal arms dealings, Minin was sentenced to two years.
Nicolas Cage’s character in the 2005 movie Lord of War is partly based on Minin, as well as Sarkis Soghanalian and our number one, Viktor Bout.

Moscow, Russia
Jean-Bernard Lasnaud: When the French-born Jean-Bernard Lasnaud was arrested in 2002 in Switzerland, it ended almost three years of arrest requests from Argentinian courts and Interpol. Despite this, together with accusations from European courts on counts of arms smuggling and fraud, amazingly Lasnaud was allowed to live peacefully in South Florida, U.S., for more than ten years before his past finally caught up with him. Lasnaud was in the business of selling arms from his luxurious gated community to anyone interested, with China and Somalia just two of the suspected client countries.
According to his own estimates, Lasnaud’s Caribbean Group of Companies sold between $1 and $2.5 million in weapons every year. Accused of brokering thousands of tons worth of Argentinian weaponry to Croatia and Ecuador between 1992 and 1995, Lasnaud even boasted his own website to aid with his transactions. He is caught up in a complex web of corruption and scandals the true extent of which may never be known.

Monzer al-Kassar: Syrian-born Monzer al-Kassar — also known by the glamorous title, the "Prince of Marbella" — is an international arms dealer of some notoriety. Currently incarcerated, al-Kassar began his career in trading weapons in the early 1970s when, by his own account, the Yemeni government requested that he buy arms for them from Poland. He lived in London from from around 1972 until 1984, at which point he was thrown out of the country by the British government for arms and drug trafficking. From London al-Kassar moved to Marbella, where he gained his extravagant nickname. Further allegations of arms dealing followed — including that he sold arms to and helped the hijackers of cruise ship the Achille Lauro. He also pocketed millions making sales to Croatia, Bosnia and Somalia when there was a UN arms embargo with the three countries. Al-Kassar was caught and convicted thanks to an elaborate DEA sting that began in 2006 and proceeded to his arrest in Madrid in 2007 and extradition to the US a year later.

Sarkis Soghanalian: Born in 1929, Soghanalian (died October 5, 2011) — nicknamed the “Merchant of Death” — established himself during the Cold War, becoming the leading arms merchant during that time of political conflict. He was also infamous for being the foremost seller of weapons to Saddam Hussein during the 1980s. With the full knowledge and backing of the CIA,
Soghanalian sold arms to Iraq in the midst of the Iran-Iraq War. He also sold weaponry to militia groups during the Lebanese Civil War, as well as to Ecuador and Nicaragua, and to Argentina during the Falklands War. Following the first Gulf war with Iraq, Soghanalian was jailed for six years for possession of arms and the intent to sell to Iraq. His sentence was reduced to two years, however, after he supplied the US with intelligence.

Fares Mana’a, Yemen’s most infamous arms dealer, the official occupation of Sheikh Fares Mohammed Mana’a is Governor of Sa’dah, a city in north-western Yemen. Despite such standing, Mana’a’s more illicit activities have been noted by the United Nations Security Council, who added his name to a list of people accused of dealing arms to the Somali insurgents known as Harakat al-Shabaab Mujahedeen — a notorious group suspected of having links to Al-Qaeda. Mana’a has also been accused of spying for the late Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi in return for millions in funds. In March 2011, Mana’a was installed as the new governor of Sa’dah following a battle between pro-government tribesmen and the Mana’a-supported Houthi rebels, to whom he is also accused of supplying arms.

American educated Adnan Khashoggi, amongst Khashoggi’s most famous clients were Lockheed (now Lockheed Martin), who during the early 1970s paid him early 1970s paid him $106 million in commissions. He concealed his financial dealings by setting up front companies in tax havens such as Switzerland. Caught up (along with Imelda Marcos, the widow of exiled Philippine president, Ferdinand) in the Iran-Contra affair, Khashoggi was arrested in 1988 but was acquitted two years later. He currently resides in Monaco, where his services as a facilitator are apparently still occasionally called upon — most recently in 2003, when he allegedly met with American political advisor Richard Perle right before the invasion of Iraq

Dale Stoffel, in 2003, his company, Wye Oak Technology, was awarded one of the first contracts from the newly established Iraqi Ministry of Defense, and in the end the value of his contracts with the nascent Iraqi government totalled over $40 million. During the year leading up to his death, the goatee-bearded Stoffel became an outspoken critic of irregularities in the Iraqis’ methods of payment for his efforts, and those of others like him, with allegations that corruption was rampant. Shortly before his death Stoffel was owed $24.7 million. His widow Barbara sued the Iraqi government for $25 million in 2009

Samuel Cummings an American arms dealer and founder of the International Armament Corporation — a company that grew to all but monopolize the global market in private arms sales. Cummings died in 1998 at the age of 71 following a series of strokes but has been called (by The New York Times) the “undisputed philosopher-king of the arms trade.” Recruited as a weapons expert by the CIA in 1950, he spent the rest of the early 50s traveling Europe buying up large amounts of excess WWII weaponry. This led Cummings to start up the arms dealing business Interarmco, which would come to dominate the small arms market of 1950s and ’60s America. He also dealt with many famous international leaders, including Fidel Castro, to whom he sold a consignment of AR-10 rifles — much to the ire of General Rafael Trujillo, leader of the Dominican Republic, where Cummings was later doing business.

Dr. Moosa Bin Shamsher is a Bangladeshi business tycoon known for being a major player in international arms trading during the 1970s and 1980s (as well as for many other business ventures). Affectionately dubbed “Prince Moosa” by the South Asian press, this high-profile figure is, notwithstanding, known for dealings with other shady big name arms dealers on this list such as Adnan Khashoggi and Sarkis Soghanalian. It is also alleged that Shamsher has had Swiss bank accounts worth $7 million frozen because of “irregular” transactions.
Formed in 1974, Shamsher’s business, DATCO, deals in global weaponry, including tanks, fighter planes and ballistic missiles. Almost as renowned as Shamsher’s arms dealings is his love of excess: he owns a fleet of a hundred private cars that includes Rolls-Royce models and limousines and wears diamond-encrusted shoes valued at $3 million.

The three biggest arms dealers from 2004 to 2014 were the U.S. ($86.4 billion), Russia ($70.9 billion) and Germany ($21.5 billion).
Recommended Reading:
   Feinstein, Andrew  "The Shadow World, Inside the Global Arms Trade"  2011  Jonathan Ball Publishers, RSA
See Also: Campaign Against Arms Trade

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