SUDAN WATCH: A businessman from Odessa with an Israeli passport is the man behind Russian tanks shipment destined for Govt of South Sudan (GOSS) via Mombasa?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A businessman from Odessa with an Israeli passport is the man behind Russian tanks shipment destined for Govt of South Sudan (GOSS) via Mombasa?

Nina Karpacheva, the ombudswoman for Ukrainian parliament claims that the man behind the Russian tanks deal (the tanks that are still onboard the hijacked Ukrainian ship, MV Faina, off the coast of Somalia - see latest news here below) is Vadim A., a businessman from Odessa with an Israeli passport.

Source: Der Speigel special report Monday, 06 October 2008 - Investigating the Faina - Looking for the Good Guys off the Somali Coast - By Clemens Höges, Uwe Klussmann and Horand Knaup; Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan
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The pirates have lowered the ransom from $20 million to $8 million

Today, Wednesday 08 October 2008, the pirates still hold Ukrainian Faina.

Yesterday, they lowered the ransom from $20 million to $8 million.

According to the freight manifest, Kenya’s government made the contract on behalf of South Sudan. Kenya that has always reiterated that the weapons on board are for its army is just the receiver of cargo.

Source: Kommersant, Wednesday 08 Oct 2008 - Ukrainian Tanks on Faina Destined for S. Sudan
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Photo of freight manifest

Click here for BBC report showing map of Mombasa/Kenya/South Sudan, and photo of the freight manifest proving that the weapons onboard the MV Faina were destined for South Sudan?

Also, note that the BBC's report highlights this quote: "If you want peace you have to prepare for war" - SPLM source.

Source: BBC News report, Tuesday 07 October 2008 - Pirates reveal Sudan's precarious peace - By Amber Henshaw, BBC News, Khartoum
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Sudan's Government of South Sudan (GOSS) or Kenya's General Ordnance Supply and Security (GOSS)?

Yesterday, Tuesday 07 October 2008, Kenya once again denied the shipment was for South Sudan, claiming that its acronym "GOSS" on the freight manifest stood for Kenya's General Ordnance Supply and Security (GOSS) and not Government of South Sudan (GOSS).

See AFP report via, Wednesday 08 Oct 2008 - Kenya denies cargo is for Sudan - excerpt:
Kenya’s foreign minister denied a cargo manifest produced by the BBC was evidence that military hardware seized by Somali pirates last month was destined for southern Sudan.

Moses Wetangula said the initials GOSS, a commonly used acronym for the government of South Sudan, included in the contract number had been misinterpreted, and is in fact a code used by Kenya’s defence ministry.

"I have personally seen the bill of lading that is posted on the BBC website, and it is purely speculative," Wetangula told reporters after a meeting with Somali Foreign Minister Ali Jama Jangeli.

"That is the correct document but it was misinterpreted. The initials shown in that cargo manifest do not in any way show that the military cargo was destined for Southern Sudan," he said.

"This is our cargo, it is purely Kenyan. The initials shown as GOSS are misinterpreted to mean government of South Sudan," Wetangula said.

"I have been advised, and this is the government’s position, that it means General Ordnance Supply and Security. That is a code that is used by our department of defence," he explained.
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Toxic waste and possibly even nuclear waste is being dumped in the ocean off Somalia

Excerpt from Der Speigel's special report Monday, 06 October 2008 - Investigating the Faina - Looking for the Good Guys off the Somali Coast - By Clemens Höges, Uwe Klussmann and Horand Knaup; Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan:
The trail of this special freighter, which has had various names -- the Marabou, the Loverval and the Matina -- can be found in the databases of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The Ukrainian ship is registered in Belize, but the official owner, a company called Waterlux AG, is registered in Panama. But the IMO lacks even a letterbox address for Waterlux. All it has is the address of a supposed subsidiary in Ukraine called Tomex. Tomex does exist, and its offices are in an elegant building in Odessa, but no one there is willing to discuss the Faina.

All of this secretiveness would be unnecessary if the deal involving the Faina had been normal. However, the excessive caution would make sense if what Nina Karpacheva, the ombudswoman for the Ukrainian parliament, says is true. Karpacheva claims that the man behind the deal is Vadim A., a businessman from Odessa with an Israeli passport, excellent contacts within the government bureaucracy and an unsavory reputation as a juggler of businesses.

Both Karpacheva and Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko are calling for an investigation of the Faina affair. The fact that Tymoshenko has become involved is, perhaps, not surprising. She has long been engaged in political battle with President Viktor Yushchenko, whose supporters in the Ukrainian intelligence service, the SBU, have long lined their pockets by selling off the remains of the former Soviet arsenal throughout the world.

The Faina case could also prove to be an international embarrassment for Ukraine in other ways as well. Russia, its more powerful neighbor, has sent the frigate Neutrashimy ("The Fearless") toward Somalia because Ukraine has no ships suitable for such a mission. If the Russians can free the sailors and restore calm to the Horn of Africa, they will have managed to polish up their image in the wake of their invasion of Georgia, as well as to demonstrate who is in charge at home, in a realm that was once the Soviet Union.

Unscrupulous Dealmakers

The Neutrashimy is likely to face off against thousands of pirates. In addition to Sugule Ali's boats, there are at least four other large groups operating along the Horn of Africa: a band of gangsters called the Somali Marines, a group calling itself the National Volunteer Coastguard, and the Puntland Group and Marka Group.

The pirate gangs can do as they wish along the coast of Somalia, which descended into chaos and civil war after the dictator Siad Barre was overthrown in 1991. Since then, unscrupulous dealmakers from Europe and the rest of the world have taken advantage of the vacuum. Some are dumping toxic waste and possibly even nuclear waste in the ocean off Somalia. Others are illegally exploiting the Somalis' fishing grounds. Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the United Nations Special Envoy for Somalia, calls it "a disaster for Somalia's coast, the environment and the population." In the beginning, angry Somali fishermen wielding Kalashnikovs took matters into their own hands and drove away the foreign fishing boats.

In the process, some of them apparently noticed how easy it was to attack ships, and they soon made a business of it. Using the ransom money, they bought themselves mansions, SUVs, better boats and weapons. But the hijacking and ransacking of ships off the Somali coast could soon come to an end.

Spurred to action by the attack on the Faina, the defense ministers of the EU agreed last Wednesday to a launch a joint military intervention. Under the plan three EU warships, one of them from Germany, will patrol off the coast of Somalia beginning in December. American and Russian ships will likely join them. This concerted response will likely deter many pirates. The Strait of Malacca off the Malaysian coast, once considered extremely dangerous, became virtually pirate-free after a similar alliance was formed and resolute military intervention began.
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Photo Gallery: Somali Pirates Go Overboard

Piracy in the Gulf of Aden: German Shipowner Paid Ransom to Somali Pirates (09/16/2008),1518,578495,00.html

A Pirate Amendment?: Berlin Looks at Ways to Battle Somali Kidnappers (06/26/2008),1518,562204,00.html
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Other related reports

Click here to scroll though Sudan Watch entries re above pirates, starting with most recent on Friday, October 03, 2008, entitled: Arrr! Somali pirate captain aboard hijacked Ukrainian ship says: "Whoever attacks, we will defend ourselves"

{Also published at this site's sister blog Kenya Watch]

See Kenya Watch - Friday, 3 October 2008 - Who really owns the hijacked battle tanks?



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