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El Periodico (Guatemala City, Guatemala) 6/6/10

Firearms leave Guatemalan army arsenal illegally

A total of 26,994 firearms left the Guatemalan army weapons warehouse illegally, and it is presumed that most of the weapons were sold to Century Arms, Inc., of Vermont, USA, and also to Monzer Al Kassar, between May 2006 and May 2007. High ranking officials, including ex-Ministers of Defense, are reportedly involved. The majority of the weapons are solely for military use and their sale or distribution is illegal. Among the relating figures cited in the article: 10 million rounds of ammunition and 13,000 rifles and machine guns..

http://www.elperiodico.com.gt/es/20100218/investigacion/138395/?tpl=54

The article in Spanish refers to Galil and M16 rifles, magazines, and ammo sold several years ago.
 
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Rough English translation courtesy of babelfish.
Investigation 26.994 arms left the warehouse of the Army illegally Equipment of investigation A total of 26 thousand 994 arms was removed illegally from the warehouse military of the Army of Guatemala, and it is presumed that most of they were sold to the company Century Inc. Arms and others to the international dealer of Monzer arms To the Kassar, between May of 2006 and May of 2007. Officials of high rank of the military institution, between whom are the ex- ministers of the Defense, Francisco Bermúdez Amado and Cecilio Leiva Rodriguez, are involved, according to internal documents of the Army into the hands of elPeriódico.
The majority of the arms is exclusively of military use and considered like war material and, according to the Article 16 of the Law of Arms and Ammunition, its sale or distribution he is illegal.
The armament and the ammunition were transferred from the General depot of the Service military of the Army, located in zone 13 of the capital, in several containers and without the High Commands of the Army have given explanations of the supposed sale.
In August of 2007, elPeriódico investigation gave to know in which it details that the international dealer of arms, Monzer To the Kassar, would have bought the arms to the Army, that pretended to be scrap iron, to sell them to Colombian guerrilla detachments. According to the investigation, one of the main people in charge was colonel Otto Guillermo Spiegler, who acted like Director of Finances of the Army at that time. Now, an internal document of the Ministry of the Defense into the hands of elPeriódico gives account that in the transaction was sent 13 thousand offensive arms (guns, machine guns, rifles), 226 pistols, 38 thousand 789 hoppers and 10 million cartridges (bullets).
In agreement with consulted experts, the guns and the machine guns oscillate in the market in US$1,250 each, the carbines and rifles US$500, pistols US$300 and the cartridges to US$0.50 each. Although the prices also depend on the amount that is acquired. But it is considered that the amount of the sold thing can exceed the Q300 million. A military source that participated in the transfer indicated that the data had remained hidden “by orders superiors”.
In addition, it relates that the transfers took control of fort guards and by means of a private company. In fact, the MP already mentioned the minister of the Defense, Abraham Valenzuela González, so that it explains the doubtful transaction, that it occurred when held that position Francisco Bermúdez Loved, minister until the 28 of December of 2006 and replaced by Ronaldo Cecilio Leiva Rodriguez. “The armament in mention mobilized of the General depot of the Service of Material military towards the Port Santo Tomás from Castile, Izabal”, emphasizes the report. The document Certification of armament and the ammunition permuted between the Ministry of the National defense and Inc. the Century company Arms, stands out that all transfer occurred by that port.
The lot of arms left in 22 containers course to the United States and later to it soothes of the company Century Arms, in the State of Vermont, EE.UU. The company in its site of Internet stands out that they are the importers and exporter of greater arms of North America. The boardings of illegal arms According to the internal document of the Army, the first boarding of arms occurred the 21 of June, the second the 23 of August, the third party the 4 of September, the quarter 16 of November all of 2006 and last the 25 of May of 2007. Although the specific document not it clearly, sources of the Army indicate that the military institution received other arms in exchange for the arsenal sent to the company in mention. In a part of the report it stands out that it was an exchange and other than was a sale. From Tuesday it was sent a mail to spokesman of the Department of Information and Divulgación of the Army (DIDE), Byron Gutiérrez, to ask for an interview with the present Minister of the Defense, but it has not responded the questions. Mario Polanco, of the Group of Apoyo Mutuo (GAM), stood out that it is a subject that has many edges and that the MP must investigate thorough “the arms can be in the hands of delinquents and somebody benefitted with the millionaire business”, it emphasized. “There is much weakness in the control of arms on the part of the State and in the Army there are groups of the organized crime that use the armament to commit illegal acts”, Polanco added. Sold guns could arm to an army of 50 thousands The consulted distant military indicate that guns that were retired of the General depot of the Service of Material military, as the Mausser calibrates 7,62 mm of German origin also are coveted by collectors and others as the M1 calibrates 30 mm American are of great demand. Also they see with preoccupation that arms like the 13 thousand 68 Galil guns of Israeli manufacture which they were removed from the Military Warehouse can be used illegally. With this amount of equipments military it would be possible to be armed to an army of 50 thousand soldiers, since also they sold 32 thousand hoppers of that caliber and 7,8 million cartridges. The true destiny of the arms is not known. A retired official indicates that the armament could have destined to African countries that they live in conflict. It details that guns as the Galil its registry is unalterable reason why could rake more easily. Within the lot also are Galiles of Israelite origin and M-16 and M1 of the United States and that by their power is coveted by criminal groups of Guatemala and other countries. In the 2007 when elPeriódico one it published the first news article did not have the exact data of all the arms and that now come to the public light. Guatemala, Monday 07 of June of 2010 Copyright © 2010 Aldea Global, S.A. All rights reserved
 

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Reminds me of 5 years ago when the Italians searched a Seavan container and found 30,000+ Romanian AK's and made a big stink about "arms trafficking". Turned out it was a legal shipment to Century for demill to kits. Of course the later information was not ever widely reported as the initial story.
 

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Hootbro said:
Reminds me of 5 years ago when the Italians searched a Seavan container and found 30,000+ Romanian AK's and made a big stink about "arms trafficking". Turned out it was a legal shipment to Century for demill to kits. Of course the later information was not ever widely reported as the initial story.
I thought to get a form 6 approved, the weapons must be demilled before Transit to the USA...
 

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Storydude1 said:
I thought to get a form 6 approved, the weapons must be demilled before Transit to the USA...
No, they can arrive complete to a "Customs Bonded Warehouse" state side and demilled there before being released. These bonded areas act like neutral territory to allow importers to come into compliance or sit warehoused pending other legal action.

http://www.medey.com/pdf/Bonded Warehousing.pdf
 

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Reminds me of Sam Cummings and the Golden Age of semi-legal surplus arms wheeling and dealing.

I used to live in Alexandria a few blocks south of the Interarms warehouses on the riverfront. I usually walked past them on my way up to King Street, and only once saw any sign of business going on.

One of the warehouse doors was halfway rolled up and somebody inside had just taken in a UPS package. I slowed down to see if I could peek inside the building, but it was too dark. Guy looks at me all pissy and slams the door down!
 

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It doesn't sound like they are accusing Century of wrongdoing, just the military brass that diverted the arms to make some dirty money.

I know someone in Guatemala and this sort of corruption is apparently pretty ordinary down there.
 

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Grasshopper said:
wouldn't it be cheaper to have them demilled before landing in us.
Yes it would and sometimes they are demilled before coming over. The problem importers have run into in the past of having kits demilled overseas is keeping the kits S/N's matched to each other respective parts.
 

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bohnscot said:
looks like a top dollar guestimation on those prices! and 26,000 weapons
to arm 50,000 guess they got a buddy system going , you shoot awhile then i will shoot awhile :bullshit:
Soldiers at the front of the mob get guns. Every man who does not get a gun gets a loaded magazine. When a man with a gun gets killed, the one with the magazine picks it up and keeps on going.

Hootbro said:
Reminds me of 5 years ago when the Italians searched a Seavan container and found 30,000+ Romanian AK's and made a big stink about "arms trafficking". Turned out it was a legal shipment to Century for demill to kits. Of course the later information was not ever widely reported as the initial story.
Are those the Romanian kits that were sold as rusty?

6526 said:
maybe that's where all those missing bolt commission rifles came from :grin:

that would help inflate the numbers
Are those still for sale? I want one, though a Turkish or Chinese one would be great.
 

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Norinco QBZ-95 said:
bohnscot said:
looks like a top dollar guestimation on those prices! and 26,000 weapons
to arm 50,000 guess they got a buddy system going , you shoot awhile then i will shoot awhile :bullshit:
Soldiers at the front of the mob get guns. Every man who does not get a gun gets a loaded magazine. When a man with a gun gets killed, the one with the magazine picks it up and keeps on going.

oh yeh thats some of that enemy at the gates stuff
 

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shit happens, guns are more liquid than drugs... personaly, i don't blame century though, its like hating a guy who bought a porsche from a woman out to get her husband for $500 when she had full power of attorney to sell the car to him....

he just got a good deal...

the family probs with the couple are their problems...
 
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