US-procured weapons have ended up in the hands of ISIS terrorists in Yemen, an investigation by Dilyana Gaytandzhieva says. The investigation is based on internal documents from two Serbian companies, which she received from anonymous sources.
The next part of the investigation includes scanned passports of US, Saudi and UAE arms dealers, as well as government officials exposing those behind the supplying of US-purchased weapons, produced in Serbia and delivered to ISIS fighters in Yemen.
In the initial part of the investigative report, Diliyana reminds of what she discovered in the previous one – 82 mm M74HE mortar shells KV lot 04/18 appeared in ISIS propaganda videos in Yemen.
She traced the documents, concluding that the two letters KV mean that those mortar shells were manufactured by the Serbian arms factory Krusik (K stands for Krusik and V – for Valjevo, the town where the factory is located). They were produced in 2018.
Then, the purchase was traced to the US company Alliant Techsystems LLC (a wholly owned subsidiary of ATK Orbital, USA) on behalf of the US Government. The Afghan Army was the end user and the weapons were to be delivered to an arms depot in Kabul, but they somehow appeared in the hands of ISIS terrorists.
The Serbian company that exported the mortar shells is called GIM, a private company, represented by the Serbian interior minister Nebojsa Stefanivic’s father – Branko Stefanovic. In addition, Nebojsa Stefanivic is also Serbia’s vice prime minister.
GIM signed four contracts with Saudi Arabia for the delivery of 517,000 pcs. of mortar shells from Krusik (one contract – in 2016, and three contracts – in 2018 respectively).
The companies on the Kingdom’s side are two companies – Rinad Al Jazira, Saudi Arabia and Larkmont Holdings LTD, registered in the British Virgin Islands, an offshore company. With the end user being the Ministry of Defense of Saudi Arabia.
A GIM letter dated 27 April 2017 to Krusik lists the names of three GIM representatives and three Raniad Al Jazira employees who visited the arms factory in order to inspect and accept the ordered weapons.
On the GIM names is Branko Stefanovic, the father of the aforementioned vice prime minister.
The three Saudi representatives listed were Muhammad Abdulkareem Alhassan (a Saudi national), Chadi Chaarani (a Lebanese national with a Canadian passport), and Zeid Haidar Abdel Rahman Madi (a Jordanian national).
For the sales to Larkmont Holdings LTD, the offshore company, evidence is provided via leaked emails, showing that Kusik sold the weapons to the Saudi Defense Ministry.
“There is no information about the owner of Larkmont Holdings LTD, British Virgin Islands. However, indirect links suggest Saudi ownership. According to the Cyprus Trade Registry, the offshore company is a shareholder in a local company, Milvards Limited, along with a Saudi national, Yousef Alotaibi. The company provides security services, general merchandise, and more.”
Furthermore, there appears to be evidence of corruption, as the weapons were purchased at a price much lower than internal documents of Serbian state-owned company Kusik reveal.
The company GIM, represented by the father of the Serbian vice prime minister, purchased the weapons which ended up in ISIS hands at a much lower price.
The leaked documents show that the state-owned arms manufacturer Krusik has been defrauded of hundreds of thousands of dollars intentionally to the benefit of the private arms company GIM.
Then, the transportation of the weapons goes back to a familiar company – Silk Way Airlines. In this case, the weapons were transported by flights of the company, or by sea from the port of Burgas, Bulgaria to Jeddah in the Kingdom.
Silk Way Airlines have so far been part of several investigative pieces showing that its diplomatic flights were used to transport weapons, which is, to put it simply, completely illegal.
Some of the most recent examples include a March 10th, 2019 shipment in which GIM re-exported Serbian weapons from the port of Burgas, in Bulgaria, to Jeddah, in Saudi Arabia, on the ship Bow Diamond, sailing under the flag of Gibraltar.
On June 28th, 2019, the Swiss cargo vessel Thorco Basilisk sailed from the port of Burgas, Bulgaria to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, carrying 21 containers with 43,000 pcs. of Serbian mortar shells.
Weapons for #Libya’s Haftar or #Yemen from an EU country? Bulgaria’s booming arms trade continues to grow: Swiss flag cargo vessel Thorco Basilisk transits Bosphorus towards Med carrying weapons from Burgas to Port Said if Libya or to a Saudi port if cargo destined for Yemen pic.twitter.com/aUiLW4UBOI
— Yörük Işık (@YorukIsik) June 30, 2019
The Saudi Arabian Interior Ministry commissioned private US and UAE contractors (all of them US nationals) to purchase and transport the Serbian-produced weapons.
According to leaked documents, private contractors from the USA and UAE were tasked with the delivery of 20,000 pcs. of Grad rockets from Serbia to Saudi Arabia in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
It is noteworthy, that the Saudi army doesn’t use Grad rockets, and there is no end user listed in the documents.
In 2016 the Serbian company Krupnik signed a $ 69.72 million contract with the arms manufacturer Krusik for the delivery of 20,000 pcs. of 122 mm Grad rockets to Saudi Arabia.
The contractors weren’t mentioned in the contract, but leaked letters revealed their names, it also revealed that the grad rockets and mortar shells (some of them containing phosphorus) were taken from the factory by them.
On April 17th 2017, representatives of the Serbian exporter Krupnik visited the arms factory for final inspection of the ordered weapons along with a delegation of nine foreigners: two Saudis from the Ministry of Defense of Saudi Arabia, two Americans from Heptagon Global Trading, UAE, one American national from Armytrans Ltd., USA, one American from Tradewinds Logistics Group, USA, one Bulgarian and two Romanians, also from Tradewinds Logistics Group, USA.
These individuals were identified by their leaked passports.
In December 2018, the same people visited once again, along with four other Saudi Officials from the Defense Ministry.
According to leaked documents, the American contractors transported 11,000 pcs. of Serbian Grad rockets in 2017 and 2018, and 9,000 pcs. of Grad rockets in 2019. The weapons were exported on truck from Serbia to the port of Burgas in Bulgaria from where they were re-exported by sea to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.
As seen in documents, and substantiated by a video, 2,000 pcs. of Serbian Grad rockets from Krusik were exported from Burgas to Jeddah on 16 July 2019 on the general cargo vessel Jork, sailing under the flag of Antigua Barbuda.
In total, Saudi Arabia has purchased a total of 1,286,462 pcs. of ammunition from the Serbian arms factory Krusik since 2017.
These revelations are still a small part of the wide investigation. The identities of many of the ones taking part in large-scale operation were revealed, and it sheds much needed light on how the “war on terror” actually works, behind the scenes.
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