segunda-feira, setembro 18, 2017

Was secret loan money used to import sanctions-busting North Korea arms? – Hanlon

Mozambique ordered missiles and communications equipment from North Korea as well as refurbishment of Soviet era military equipment in violation of United Nations sanctions, according to Security Council expert panel reports published 27 February and 5 September.

“Mozambique has yet to provide a substantive reply to the Panel’s enquiries,” the 5 September report says; requests have been made for more than a year. On 12 September Council of Ministers spokesperson, Deputy Culture Minister Ana Comoana, pledged full cooperation with the UN panel, and said the government would provide “due clarification at the opportune moment”.

The little noticed 27 February report lists a $6 million contract dated 28 November 2013 between the North Korean Haegeumgang Trading Corporation and Monte Binga, which is owned by the Mozambican Defence Ministry. ProIndicus, one of the three companies which took out the $2 bn secret loans, is half owned by Monte Binga and half by the security services, SISE.

According to the expert panel, under the contract Haegeumgang was to upgrade and refurbish Soviet era equipment: P-18 early warning radar, AT-3 anti-tank missiles, T-55 tanks, and truck-mounted surface-to-air Pechora missile systems. It was also to supply “man-portable air defence system components and training equipment”, 250 kg “glide induced bombs”, radar systems, communications and electronics detection equipment, and a “chemical warfare monitoring command car” and related equipment. And it was to rehabilitate a gunpowder processing factory.

The secret $622 mn loans to ProIndicus were arranged by Credit Suisse and VTB in February and June 2013 and thus it seems likely that that some of the loan was used for the November 2013 contract to purchase the North Korean weaponry. The three Mozambican companies which took the $2 bn secret loans are controlled by the security services SISE, which refused to provide any information on how most of the money was used. Now, both the IMF and the Security Council are demanding information.
UN Security Council resolution 1874 in June 2009 banned countries from importing any arms or related material from North Korea. AIM (13 Sep) notes that North Korea no longer has an embassy in Mozambique.
In Club of Mozambique – 18.09.2017

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