Cablegate: Blue Lantern Level Iii: End Use Check On

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

B. STATE 233133

1. Pol/Econ Officer and Commercial Specialist visited
Mohamed Abdulrahman Kawkaban, the General Manager of Summer
Tour and Travel located on Hadha Street, Sanaa. Kawkaban is
also an owner and executive officer of the Kawkaban Modern
Center, a separate company that brokered the procurement
order (reftel) on behalf of the Minister of Interior (MOI)
for the Central Security Organization (CSO) of the MOI.

2. Kawkaban reported that five items were initially ordered:
tactical vests, ceramic protective plates, tactical helmets,
gas masks, and face shields. This complete order was
initially to be procured from an undisclosed French company;
after meetings with the U.S.-based firm Armor Holdings
Company (which has branches in UAE, London, and Paris),
Kawkaban elected to procure the equipment from the U.S.
company due to their more competitive prices and higher
standards of quality. He further explained that after a
misunderstanding regarding the specifications of some of the
products which were being ordered from Armor Holding,
Kawkaban canceled the order for the helmets and the face
shields with no plans to reorder them. The order was thus
reduced to three items. According to Kawkaban, the tactical
vests are being shipped from the London-based branch of the
Armor Holding company, and the ceramic plates and gas masks
are being shipped from the U.S. All three items on the order
are still pending delivery in the near future. Post can
schedule a follow-up visit once the materials arrive in

3. Kawkaban and his business enterprise appeared to be
above-board. Kawkaban was open to discussing his business,
business contacts, and the details of the purchases, to
include confirmation of the end-user, the officers in charge
of the procurement for the CSO, and his contact with them.
Kawkaban explained that Summer Tour and Travel is owned by
the Al-Maz Group, a large and fairly well-known enterprise;
he said there is no relationship between his Kawkaban Modern
Center company and Al-Maz other than the fact that he is the
GM for the travel agency, and on occasion, uses their
computers, faxes, and office spaces for his personal
business. Kawkaban is a family business and company which
was founded by his father who established the entity in 1967.
Currently, Kawkaban manages the company with his brothers.
Post's commercial section has little information on the
company which specializes in import and export, specifically
for various ROYG ministries and agencies.

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