Cablegate: Blue Lantern Level 3: Pre-License End-Use Check On
DE RUEHBU #1042/01 1441913
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 241913Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8246
INFO RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHINGTON DC
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001042
PM/DTCC - BLUE LANTERN COORDINATOR
US SOUTHCOM FOR POLAD
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETTC KOMC AR
SUBJECT: BLUE LANTERN LEVEL 3: PRE-LICENSE END-USE CHECK ON
REF: STATE 47859
1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Per Ref A request, post carried out a
pre-license check on Rosario (province of Santa Fe),
Argentina-based foreign end-user Rodamientos Severino on May
15. It is post's opinion that the company will be a
responsible recipient of United States Munitions List items.
The firm has been importing similar ammunition from Fiocchi
and other factories in Europe for years, and is working to
diversify its supply base due to the appreciation of the
Euro. In addition, the company has been manufacturing
shotgun shells in Rosario under license from Fiocchi (Italy)
for seventeen years. Site security is moderate, but seems
adequate for the area, as they have never experienced a
break-in at their warehouse/factory. END SUMMARY
2. (SBU) Ref A questions and post answers:
- Can you confirm an order from Fiocchi of America under
license number 05-050040265?
- When was the company established and who are its principals?
The company was first established in 1975, and the current
owners are Ennio and Juan Carlos Modestini (brothers). Ennio
Modestini was an original part owner, along with his father,
aunt and uncle.
- Who are the company's typical customers and where are they
The company is a wholesaler only, and sells its products to
approximately 150 different gun shops and hunting clubs
- Does the company have adequate on-site security?
At the company's warehouse and shotgun shell factory in
Rosario, security is moderate. There are high walls, locked
gates, lighted exteriors, and guard dogs. In addition, there
is at least one person on site 24 hours a day. Gunpowder on
site is stored in a partially buried, separately locked area.
In over 20 years at the location, the only break-in the
company has experienced was at their office several miles
- Does the company understand the restrictions on USML
articles, particularly regarding the requirement for prior
USG authorization for re-export?
Yes. The company does not export any of its products.
- Does the company have the proper firearms license and
import permit for the items listed on the license application?
Yes. The company has valid import/export, ammunition
manufacturing, and explosives (i.e., gunpowder for
manufacturing shotgun shells) importation permits from the
Registro Nacional de Armas (RENAR, the National Weapons
Registry, part of the Argentine Ministry of Defense), the
agency which oversees private weapons transactions and
ownership in Argentina. The company also has permission from
the Ministry of Defense to distribute weapons as a
wholesaler, to store weapons and ammunition, to store
explosives, and also to transport weapons and ammunition
(they deliver many of their goods to buyers). The company
has specific authorization from RENAR for this shipment.
- Does the company keep detailed records of purchases,
verifying that customers are properly licensed?
The company has a copy of the RENAR license (both for sales,
and, if appropriate, transportation of arms and ammunition)
on file for each of its clients.
- Does the company have sales records that indicate it
possesses a customer base justifying this purchase?
Sales for the company's fiscal year 2006 (ending October 31,
2006) were 7.9 million pesos (approximately USD 2.57
million), and 6.2 million pesos (approximately USD 2.14
million) in FY 2005.
- Has the company received USML articles before?
No, but records provided by company principals show they have
imported similar goods from sources in Europe (including
Fiocchi factories in Italy and Hungary, and Czech firm
Sellier & Bellot) on numerous occasions. If not for the
recent appreciation of the Euro vis-a-vis the US dollar, the
company would not have placed this order with a U.S. company.
3. (SBU) Checks with law enforcement and military contacts
turned up no negative information.