Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Smulian: On the Payroll Since 1997

Andrew Smulian's arrest with Viktor Bout is interesting in a couple of ways; first, there was the investigation itself, as previously blogged. Then, there's the fact that he was clearly well embedded in the system, as far back as 1997. Context; the accounts for Air Pass, a South African company Bout reversed Air Cess into in that year and left with its debts, are quite spread around. Even Richard Chichakli's website shows a few pages from them - of course, none of the items that mention Viktor Bout, and certainly not the credit card bills with Richard's name on them. I've had copies for quite a while.

A Smulian was the recipient of air tickets bought with the Air Pass AMEX card whilst Viktor Bout controlled the company, three times in the winter and spring of 1998; a total of R14,000 in tickets with Kenya Airways and SAA. He is also listed as receiving R1,025 in health insurance contributions a month at their Johannesburg offices. At the same time, another Smulian, E or Etienne, is down for R8,260 a month in salary under Flight Ops and the same health benefits. E Smulian received an R3,217 cheque from the company at the end of 1997; he was also claiming mobile phone bills and car rental on expenses.

We don't know if there are two Smulians, but we do know that Andrew is a South African pilot, and that if there is another, this may explain the mystery Brit at the Bangkok Sofitel.

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