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Cablegate: Extrancheck: Post-Shipment Verification:

VZCZCXYZ0014
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #1720/01 1061109
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 161109Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9321
RHMFIUU/US CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS MOSCOW 001720

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

USDOC FOR 532/OEA/MHAMES/LRITTER
USDOC FOR 3150/USFCS/OIO/CEENIS/MCOSTA
USDOC FOR 532/OEE/MO'BRIEN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: BEXP ETRD ETTC RS
SUBJECT: EXTRANCHECK: POST-SHIPMENT VERIFICATION:
TACTICA LTD., MOSCOW, RUSSIA, LICENSE NO. D357067

REFTEL: USDOC

1. Unauthorized disclosure of the information provided
below is prohibited by Section 12C of the Export
Administration Act.

2. Reftel 1 requested a Post-shipment verification to
determine the legitimacy and reliability of the end-
user, Tactica Ltd., Moscow, Russia. The company is
listed on BIS license application D357067 as the
ultimate consignee of 60 holographic sights model:
552.A65, 180 holographic sights model: 551.A65, 120
holographic sightings model: 512.A65, 240 holographic
sights model: 511.A65 and 200 holographic sights
model: 551.D1. These items are controlled for firearms
convention, crime control, and UN sanctions reasons
under ECCN 0A987. The licensee is Leupold and Stevens,
Inc., 14400 NW Greenbrier Parkway, Beaverton, OR
97006.

3. On March 27, 2007, Export Control Attache Donald
Pearce and FSN Natalya Shipitsina conducted the
requested post-shipment verification with Tactica
Ltd., 138 Varshavskoe Shosse, Moscow, Russia. The
export control team met with Sergey Korznikov,
Commercial Director and Alexander Zviagin, General
Director.


4. Tactica is a retail sporting goods and tactical
supplies store, specializing in optics. Mr.
Korznikov, a former member of the Federal Security
Service (Russian acronym FSB) Alfa Group, founded the
company in 2004. NOTE: FSB Alfa Group is a special
operations capable anti-terrorist unit. END NOTE. The
company started as an internet-based business, but
expanded within weeks to a showroom when Korznikov's
neighbor decided to invest 200,000 USD in the new
venture. Tactica imports 90% of its inventory from
the United States, and is a distributor for U.S.
manufacturers such as 5.11, Blackhawk, SureFire, and
others. The company employs 11 and operates from its
showroom and office in a multi-tenant commercial
building in southern Moscow.

5. Tactica is the official law enforcement and
military distributor for Leupold and Stevens in
Russia. The weapons sights in reftel were sold and
transferred to law enforcement and military end users
in Russia. The team was allowed to examine the
purchase records, and was given copies of the end use
statements and invoices. The remainder of the units
requested in the license will be ordered over the next
year. Mr. Korznikov stated that it has been difficult
to keep these types of optics in stock for more than a
week, as the demand for them within the military and
law enforcement tactical units is high. Stock is
maintained in a locked storeroom on site, and the
store is protected by an electronic alarm system with
remote monitoring by the security guards at the
building complex.

6. According to Mr. Korznikov, units are going outside
of the normal procurement channels to directly
purchase these commodities, as similar optics from
Russia are not as good. Mr. Korznikov reports that
most of these purchases are guided from the field
officer level, as the staff officers are reluctant to
purchase western equipment. This is due principally
to a "KGB mentality" as Mr. Korznikov labels it, that
is common among the Generals. The General Staff
believes that the field level operators are well
equipped; however most units in places like the
Caucuses are depending on Soviet-era tactical gear.
7. Often, former operators who have gone on to
successful positions in business will, as a
"humanitarian gesture" to their old units, finance the
purchase of western equipment that the official
Ministry of Defense supply chain will not. Mr.
Korznikov has worked closely with his former
colleagues to get the units better tactical load
bearing gear such as vests and rifle slings, as well
as optics. Mr. Korznikov assisted in arranging an
information exchange on hostage rescue tactics between
Alfa Group and the FBI Hostage Rescue Team, and is
hoping to arrange for additional training for Alfa
operators through U.S. contractor Blackwater.

5. Recommendations: Post recommends Tactica Ltd.,
Moscow, Russia as reliable recipients of sensitive
U.S. origin commodities.
(FCS MOSCOW/SBOZEK/DPEARCE)
BURNS

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