Stamp dealer linked to arms dealing in Africa
17 May 2006, MADRID — A company allied to one of the stamp dealers at the centre of Spain's biggest investment fraud had ties to an alleged arms dealer, it was claimed.
17 May 2006
MADRID — A company allied to one of the stamp dealers at the centre of Spain's biggest investment fraud had ties to an alleged arms dealer, it was claimed.
Greenpeace claimed in 2001 that a company with ties to Forum Filtatelico was closely linked to Leonid Minin, an arms dealer who sold weapons to former Liberian president Charles Taylor.
The Spanish newspaper El Pais reported Minin, a Ukranian with Israeli citizenship, reportedly signed a conract with Forum Africa, which was linked to Forum Filatelico.
Forum Filatelico, along with another stamp dealer, Afinsa, are at the centre of a EUR 3.5 billion investment fraud which has left 350,000 private investors out of pocket.
Greenpeace claimed Minin, who was arrested in Italy but later released due to lack of evidence, was provided with USD 1.5 million in a Swiss bank account by Forum Africa.
In exchange, the company gained lumber concessions in Liberia.
According to Greenpeace, this money was used to purchase arms for Taylor, which he used to fund the insurgency in Sierra Leone.
Taylor was arrested last month and extradited to Sierra Leone where he is awaiting trial.
The claims made by Greenpeace were supported by a United Nations report linked the alleged arms trafficker with the Spanish lumber industry.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news