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Romania – a decoy in the Al Kassar case, paper says

In our yesterday’s issue, we were showing that a recent United Nations (UNIDIR) report placed Romania on the map of illegal arms dealing, according to the UN Institute of Disarmament Research, state- run arms manufacturer Romarm sold weapons to international arms dealer Monzer al Kassar. In an exclusive disclosure today, ‘Evenimentul Zilei’ daily comes with a twist to this situation. According to EVZ, Romanian prosecutors worked together with the special US forces to put down the Al Kassar international arms dealing network. Thus, according to information the daily has obtained, the UN report appears inaccurate, as, apparently Romanian authorities were only mimicking involvement in the traffic. Monzer al Kassar was sentenced by a US court in February, for agreeing to supply weapons to the banned Columbian terrorist organization FARC. He was convicted after a long sting operation conducted by the DEA, in which he was paid substantial sums of money to procure weapons, including sophisticated surface-to-air missiles. The weapons were to be purchased from Romarm, which, as far as the written records show, did not obstruct the sale, the UN report shows. The document also quotes a US agent as saying that Al Kassar ultimately received more than USD 400,000 for the weapons deal, “in funds represented to be FARC drug proceeds, but which in fact came from DEA undercover bank accounts.” Presenting in detail how the operation occurred on Romanian ground, ‘Evenimentul Zilei’ quotes judicial sourcing claiming that local intelligence service officers in collaboration with the Investigation Board for Criminal Investigations (DIICOT) monitored the DEA operation that led to Al Kassar and his accomplices’ capture.

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