Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Black Market Guns, Diamonds, Antiquities Anyone?

What blood diamonds fund
The US Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs (Press release, August 20, 2019): 'Arms Trafficker Convicted in Anti-Aircraft Missiles Scheme and Other Arms Offenses Sentenced to 30 Years in Federal Prison':
A black-market arms dealer with a long history of brokering machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank armaments – and who was found guilty last year in a scheme to sell and use surface-to-air missiles – was sentenced yesterday to 30 years in federal prison. Rami Najm Asad-Ghanem, 53, who was commonly known as Rami Ghanem, a naturalized United States citizen who was living in Egypt at the time of the offenses, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge S. James Otero. During this morning’s sentencing hearing, Judge Otero said, “The breadth, scope and gravity [of Ghanem’s offenses] is really breathtaking and, in many ways, frightening” [...] In documents filed in relation to today’s sentencing, prosecutors offered evidence of a contract documenting Ghanem’s agreement to sell $250 million worth of weapons and ammunition to a militant faction in Libya; a contract between Ghanem and the Egyptian Ministry of Defendant (sic) dealing with hundreds of rocket-propelled grenade launchers; attempts to buy and sell combat jets and helicopter gunships; and his apparent role in the trafficking of counterfeit currency, looted antiquities and black-market diamonds.
The Antiquities Trafficking and Heritage Anthropology Research (ATHAR) Project 2 godz says
"This is a strikingly clear example of the connection between antiquities trafficking and other black market crimes. “The merchant of death” was selling both anti-aircraft missiles and ancient artifacts along with other high value black market goods"
...if those documents are not fake. Let's see them. From whom was he getting them, to whom was he selling them, and why is the latter not being charged too?

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