A Russian Missile in Antwerp
by RIA "NOVOSTI" correspondent Vladimir
Moscow OBSHCHAYA GAZETA
16-22 Feb 95 (Signed to press 15 Feb) p 1
[FBIS Translated Text] It all started when Belgian customs
officers found an armored vehicle stuffed with all kinds of
electronics and labeled "Made in Russia" in Antwerp port storage
facilities. It turned out that the find was no less than a
mobile launcher for "surface-to-air" and "surface-to-surface"
missiles, code-named MP-22-E, according to Russian
classification. According to its bills of lading, the launcher
was sent from Minsk via St. Petersburg to Atrafem, a Belgium
firm, allegedly to be subsequently transported to Iraq.
I have managed to find out some curious facts. First,
Atrafem proved to be a front firm. Second, the missile launcher
was not destined for Iraq at all. This version was circulated
so as to divert attention from the actual addressee, a U.S.
company named BDM International.
Shortly after the Soviet Union's collapse, the firm, based
near Washington and headed by former Defense Secretary Frank
Carlucci, bought from Belarus -- with the help of U.S. special
services -- an entire arsenal of military hardware that had been
left there. The goods were supplied by the "Beltekhexport"
state association, which earned $50 million by selling the
Soviet inheritance it received for free. To make sure that U.S.
ears do not stick out too much from this legally and ethically
dubious trade deal, a Canadian arms dealer, Emmanuel
Veigensberg, was chosen as middleman. Shipments are still
arriving, and the mobile missile launcher found by chance in
Antwerp was not meant to be shown to the press, of course, but
it just so happened...
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