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Ukraine became key center of arms supplies to Africa and Middle East
16:42, 26 September 2017
Ukraine became key center of arms supplies to Africa and Middle East

The Ukrainian company earned millions of dollars from washing of the arms supplies

16:42, 26 September 2017

Techimpex

The European producers supply the arms to Africa and the Middle East using the defense enterprisers of Ukraine as the mediators. The workers of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) stated this in the investigation citing the obtained documents.

‘The documents obtained by the OCCRP shows the way the Ukrainian authorities and companies made the country the key center in the network that supplies the arms of the Soviet-era type from Europe to Africa and the Middle East. Many of these types of the arms originated from the EU-countries’, the message said.

Related: US supplies of arms to Ukraine to escalate situation, - Russian MFA

It is reported that the document of 2014-2016 became the ground for the investigation.  These documents are related to the Ukrainian private firm ‘Techimpex’ that is specializing in the sell, repair and modernization of the armament and to British from firm ‘S-Profit’ that is connected with Techimpex.

The journalists discovered that ‘Techimpex’ made 26 deals on the armament in the total sum of 29.5 million dollars including the millions earned according to the schemes of arms supplies-washing in 2015-2016.

Related: Canada intends to lift restrictions on arms trade with Ukraine, - Trudeau

‘The loophole in the Ukrainian legislation lies in the basis of the export scheme that allows removing the source and aim of the arms from the documents moving it all over the world’, the OCCRP noted.

The investigators claim that ‘Techimpex’ conducts the washing of the armament and the spare parts to it that are made in Poland, Slovakia, Moldova, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Also, it is reported that ‘Techimpex’ Company sold the arms to the markers of Africa, the Middle East and Asia, including Ethiopia, Korea, Chad, UAE and Uganda.

Related: Putin threatens selling arms to terrorists, - Ukraine’s National Security Secretary

According to the OCCRP, ‘Techimpex’ appealed to the State Export Control in February 2015 with a request to allow the import in Ukraine of the spare parts of the armored cars made by Polish firm Army Trade. The State Service of Export Control gave a permit for the import of the spare parts of the armored cars from Poland for personal needs of ‘Techimpex’ in April 2015. The supplies began in December.

‘But the armament did not remain in Ukraine. ‘Techimpex’ sold it to ‘Ukrinmash’ that took 9-17% and then sold it to the African clients. The shipping documents of 37 vehicles showed that Ukraine is a source country, hiding its real source’, the investigation claimed.  

Related: Arms dealers from ATO zone detained in Kyiv

According to the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland, any license for the export of the BRDM vehicles to Ukraine was issued in 2014-2015, including the spare parts. They supposed that the supplies could be illegal.

Owner of the Polish Company ‘Army Trade’ that was a partner of ‘Techimpex’ Krzysztof Jozwik confirmed to OCCRP that the agreement with the Ukrainian company is true.  

‘It was the spare parts’, he said adding that the issue is about the bodies, turrets and engines, in other words, the complete components of the vehicles.

However, according to Jozwik, ‘Techimpex’ did not claim about the plans to sell the vehicles to third countries.

Related: Citizen of Ukraine detained on suspicion of arms supplies

Co-owner of ‘Techimpex’ Evgen Vashchylyn denied even the possibility of the purchase of the spare parts for the military vehicles from Poland.

‘We import only the spare parts (for equipment). We are not authorized to import the combat-ready combat equipment. All these questions are not for us. We are not the exporters, we are the producers’, he said.

Related: To arms: What legalization of light weapons means for Ukrainians

Vashchylyn also noted that the state controls this sphere and ‘nobody supplies anything without a permit from the State Export Control’.

The State Service of Export Control refused to comment to OCCRP and they also did not comment on the situation with Ukrinmash.

Related: Klimkin: Ukraine accuses Russia of terrorism, arms smuggling and supporting militants

The international human right organization Amnesty-International claimed about the illegal supplies of the arms from Ukraine to South Sudan that was used for the murder of the civilians. Ukrinmash belied this information. MP from the Petro Poroshenko Bloc Iryna Friz noted at Facebook that the report of the Amnesty International is absurd and discreditable for the organization first of all. She noted that the export of arms is transparency in Ukraine since 2014.

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