Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Kano seizure update

A quick UR-CAK update. The owners are vigorously protesting, but it still isn't clear who they are. The crew apparently claimed that the arms belonged to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence, and the handling agent and the Equatorial Guinea government say they are for Equatorial Guinea. But it seems that the plane came from Zagreb, typically via Malta or Benghazi in Libya, and the arms were probably loaded there. The Ukrainian arms export agency - not strange to a dodgy deal in Africa - denies the weapons came from them. Exports from the Balkans are common; see the 99 tonnes of guns and Sloman Traveller posts.

Meanwhile, Viktor Bout has got a Web site. It bears more than a family resemblance to Richard Chichakli's, and in fact the domain name was registered by the same person.

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