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Cablegate: Kellogg, Brown and Root Accuses Dubai Police of Racial

VZCZCXRO9468
RR RUEHDE
DE RUEHDE #4123/01 1861520
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 051520Z JUL 06
FM AMCONSUL DUBAI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1932
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 0121
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0152
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHDE/AMCONSUL DUBAI 4906

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DUBAI 004123

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR CA/OCS/ACS/NESA - BILL HURST, DS/DSS/OSAC, DS/DSS/ITA,
NEA/ARP, NEA/I

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CASC ASEC SNAR AE IZ ETRD
SUBJECT: KELLOGG, BROWN AND ROOT ACCUSES DUBAI POLICE OF RACIAL
PROFILING

1.(SBU) Summary. Post met with KBR regional senior management
for a follow-up discussion on the increase in arrests of KBR
employees transiting Dubai International Airport. During the
meeting, KBR Iraq-based representatives accused Dubai Airport
Police of "racial profiling" and harassing African-American KBR
employees. In June 2006, eight KBR employees, all
African-American, were arrested while transiting Dubai Airport.
Seven of the eight arrestees subsequently were charged with
possession of illegal narcotics, and one was released. Dubai
authorities informally told their consulate contacts of their
fatigue in dealing with drug, public drunkenness, and disorderly
conduct cases involving KBR employees, prompting the first
meeting (reftel). Post immediately passed this information to
KBR offices in Dubai who agreed to increase discipline policies.
Subsequent to the second meeting, Post met again with Dubai
Police to pass on recent steps taken by KBR to increase employee
discipline and to convey their concerns about profiling. End
Summary.

2.(SBU) On Sunday, June 25, Consulate General Dubai met with
Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) regional representatives at their
request to follow-up on arrests of KBR contractors in Dubai and
to discuss KBR concerns of profiling at Dubai International
Airport. In attendance were KBR LOGCAP III Iraq representatives
Remo Butler, Deputy Program Manager, and Daniel Maguire, Theater
Security Director. Attending from KBR's Dubai Operations Center
were Kelly Beaver, Project Manager, Art Lange, Deputy Project
Manager, Eugene Hart, Security Manager, and Kay Williams, Deputy
Project Manager. Consulate staff present included the American
Citizens Services Chief, Acting Regional Security Officer, and
post's Naval Criminal Investigative Services and Drug
Enforcement Agency (DEA) officers. KBR Dubai gave ConGen a copy
of their new "Zero Tolerance" policy for employees transiting
Dubai. The new policy document was dated June 9, 2006, four
days after an initial meeting on KBR arrests requested by the
Consulate with KBR Dubai. KBR indicated that the policy was a
response to the warning received by Consulate officers that
Dubai Police were cracking down on KBR employees in Dubai. Key
parts of the new policy included a 100% sobriety rule to board
KBR charter flights, immediate termination of employment for
solicitation or possession of illegal substances, possible
termination for unexplained complaints from Dubai Police or the
U.S. Consulate General about an employee's behavior, and a new
dress code while in transit.

KBR Believes Dubai Police Targeting African-Americans
--------------------------------------------- --------

3.(SBU) At the meeting, KBR's Iraq representatives complained
about perceived profiling and harassment by Dubai Airport Police
of African-American KBR employees and demanded action by the
Consulate to rectify the situation. Incidences of harassment
reported to Butler's office included strip-searches, baggage
searches, and aggressive questioning. In an earlier email to
the Consular Chief, Butler expressed his belief that the
Consulate was not doing enough to gain from Dubai Police
"assurances that KBR employees are no longer going to be singled
out, especially because of skin color." In an email sent after
the meeting to KBR and cc'd to Consulate staff, Butler stated,
"My recommendation is that we raise this into the political
environment and get the Halliburton congressional liaison
involved quickly and start querying the State Department as to
what action is being taken."

4.(U) Currently seven KBR employees are in Dubai police custody
for drug charges, including marijuana and/or cocaine possession.
Only one so far has gone to trial and received four years in
prison. We anticipate sentencing to be similar for the
remaining detainees. An eighth KBR employee was detained last
week at Dubai Airport for possible drug possession, but the
charges were later dropped after laboratory tests proved he was
only carrying Benadryl capsules. Consular followed this case
closely, including confirming the drug testing procedure step by
step, and fought to secure the detainee's release as soon as
possible after test results were conclusive. KBR Dubai's
Security Manager emailed the Consular Section to thank us for
our assistance in quickly securing their falsely-accused
employee's release.

5.(SBU) As reported reftel, approximately 500 KBR contractors
transit Dubai each day. The new "Zero Tolerance" policy is a
welcome addition to KBR's employee management plan. Post will
continue to work KBR arrests and detentions as primarily an ACS
issue and hopes the company's new policy will decrease KBR
related cases.

DUBAI 00004123 002 OF 002

Follow-Up
---------

6.(SBU) Due to the involvement of drugs in a number cases
involving "American military types," all of whom turned out to
be KBR contractors, Brigadier General Khamis Al Muzeina, General
Director of Dubai's Criminal Investigation Department (CID), had
originally contacted post's DEA agent in late May to express his
concern. DEA and NCIS agents met again with the Brigadier on
June 27 on behalf of the Consulate to follow-up on their
original meeting. During the follow-up, they conveyed KBR's
profiling concerns and informed CID of steps KBR has taken to
improve employee discipline, including sharing a copy of the new
"Zero Tolerance" policy. Muzeina stated that all travelers to
Dubai with illegal narcotics, regardless of nationality, would
be arrested and processed under UAE law, while assuring ConGen
representatives that CID would keep the Consulate appraised of
all US citizens arrested for drug charges in the UAE.

7.(SBU) Comment: Worth noting is the fact that more than 80,000
U.S. servicemen transit or visit Dubai on liberty each year.
Post is unaware of any reports of racial profiling or harassment
of servicemen transiting Dubai, and there have been few
instances of arrests. Post's NCIS attributes this record to
strong discipline and punishments for offending servicemen by
the U.S. Military. Separately, KBR's Government and
Infrastructure division is pursuing a number of projects in
Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Mission's Foreign Commercial Service
actively assists KBR by providing them support and advocacy with
local government officials. KBR currently acts as Palm Island
project manager for Dubai Government-owned Nakheel development
company and is bidding on the new multi-billion dollar Khalifa
Port development project with Abu Dhabi Government. In
addition, FCS Abu Dhabi recently assisted KBR on conducting due
diligence on potential partners, and provided project
information on a number of new developments in Abu Dhabi. Post
believes that continued incidents involving KBR employees could
cause serious damage to KBR's reputation in the UAE and limit
our ability to advocate on KBR's behalf in country.
BURNS

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