A report from a UN panel says that armoured vehicles from the Streit Group shipped armoured personnel carriers to Libya from its Mideast facilities several years ago, in violation of an international arms embargo.
|The March 2016 report was drawn up by experts who are monitoring compliance with the UN security council arms embargo imposed back in 2011. The Streit Group is owned by Guerman Goutorov, a Canadian citizen, who resides in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Streit Manufacturing is located in Innisfil Ontario. The finding will no doubt spark further debate about Ottawa's policy with respect to arms shipments.|
The document, signed by Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion, is a gem of hair-splitting, parsing, wilful blindness and justification for selling billions worth of fighting vehicles and weaponry to Saudi Arabia, one of the most oppressive regimes on Earth.
“This is an export exclusively from the United Arab Emirates to Libya, which is outside of Canada’s export-controls jurisdiction. There is no information to suggest otherwise.”
“Continuous violations … are having a negative impact on the security situation in Libya and its political transition: better-equipped armed actors may be less inclined to agree to ceasefires or to accept the authority of the future government of national accord and its security arrangements.”
In September of 2015, the government agency responsible for enforcing American export controls announced it had imposed a $3.5-million fine on Streit Group affiliated companies and two corporate officers for completing at least nine unlicensed transfers, or sales, of U.S.-made armoured vehicles to foreign countries between 2008 and 2009. Of this penalty, $1.5 million was suspended.
"When we're talking about arms deals with countries like South Sudan and Libya, that raises very serious red flags. There is absolutely no question that a decision to sell arms, in the context of those two countries, contributed either directly or indirectly to the worsening human rights situation in both of those countries and simply should not have been something the company considered to do at all."