Tracking Aircraft and Ship Movements: Key Determinants in Detecting Clandestine Arms Transfers - Cases Studies from Mali
Tracking aircraft & ship movementsKey determinants in detecting clandestine arms transfers Cases studies from Mali Hugh Griffiths Countering Illicit Trafficking – Mechanism Assessment Projects, SIPRI ISF, Geneva, 23 April 2013
• One of the most effective means of detecting clandestine arms transfers is to monitor the aircraft and ships involved in such transfers.• Governments, militaries and United Nations investigators attached to the UN Panels of Experts working on behalf of the UN Sanctions Committees monitoring UN embargoes in Africa, the Middle East and North East Asia have long acknowledged this.• SIPRI is the only independent research institute to have established databases, informal networks, social media and other tools to focus to specifically on this issue.
Transport: the “choke point” for monitoring & control” AWACS/Land/Maritime Radar Embargoed groupsArms brokers Airport records Aircraft/ship databases Insurance RefineriesPrecious metal suppliersNarcotic cartels Underworld markets Air traffic control flight plans Port safety inspections Transfer documentation Ship satellites
a Ship:”MEHMET ALI KOYMEN” General cargo ship designed for transporting dangerous goods IMO:9396701
- Metalika were responsible for a 2008 SALW transfer to Armenia - This transfer was diverted to Iran - Rocket propelled grenades shipped as part of this transfer were recovered in Iraq from Shia militia by U.S. forces - Weaponry brokered by Metalika to Armenia was used against U.S. forces in Iraqhttp://www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09YEREVAN20
Conclusions• A focus on transportation actors involved in clandestine or otherwise “hidden” arms shipments:- Provide a wealth of data on intermediaries- Highlight regional alliances with neighboring states- Provide indicators as to whether the shipment or a part thereof may be ultimately diverted for illicit or illegal purposes- Transport is key, but research potential remains largely untapped