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Cablegate: Blue Lantern Level 3: Pre-License End Use Check On

VZCZCXYZ0001
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHQT #2545 2911257
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 181257Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY QUITO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5492
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA PRIORITY 6089
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 3670
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 2099
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ OCT 0157
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA PRIORITY 1064
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA PRIORITY 0661
RUEHGL/AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL PRIORITY 1305

UNCLAS QUITO 002545

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

PM/DTCC - BLUE LANTERN COORDINATOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETTC EC ETTC KOMC
SUBJECT: BLUE LANTERN LEVEL 3: PRE-LICENSE END USE CHECK ON
APPLICATION 05-1007924 AND 05-1007927

REF: A. STATE 154528
B. STATE 155401

05-1007924 - Maria Cristina Vera Medranda
-----------------------------------------

1. (SBU) Embassy officers confirmed the identity and
location of end-user Maria Cristina Vera Medranda. Vera and
her husband, Jose Luis Vargas, sell firearms out of their
home. Vera's firearms' distribution license expired on May
17, 2006 and there is no indication that a renewal is
underway. During the interview with Embassy officials,
Vargas was extremely uncooperative, refusing to answer Ref A
questions. He said that they were now working with Austrian
firearm company Glock and Taurus out of Brazil and did not
need to answer our questions. Vera later reported that M.G.
Suber and Associates is the local representative for Mossberg
and Maverick through which they purchase weapons. She also
noted that Suber and Associates had informed them of a
restriction on the exportation of U.S. made pistols.

2. (SBU) Post was unable to obtain answers to questions
outlined in reftel A and therefore recommends denial of
application 05-1007924. The couple's connection to M.G.
Suber and Associates is also uncertain.

Application 05-1007927 - Blanks CIA LTDA
----------------------------------------

3. (SBU) In response to reftel B questions on application
05-1007927, Embassy offices verified that Blanks CIA LTDA is
a legitimate, registered firearms dealer in Ecuador. The
company is owned and operated by Jaime Edmundo Zamora Espin
and Pablo Ernesto Miranda Ruiz. Zamora is currently head of
operations and is a retired Ecuadorian police officer. Both
men were cleared by the Ecuadorian National Police as having
no previous criminal records.

4. (SBU) Zamora and Miranda opened Blanks CIA in 2001 and
primarily sell arms to security firms in Quito and Guayaquil
and to individuals for sporting related activities. The two
also own a private security firm "Tecnoaces" to which the
majority of the arms are sold, Zamora affirmed. The company
has adequate secured storage space and video surveillance,
and reported never having had a security breach.

5. (SBU) Zamora said that M.G. Suber and Associates is the
local representative of Mossberg and Maverick for rifle
sales. He said M.G. Suber and Associates told him that the
U.S. suspended the exportation of pistols about two years
ago.

6. (SBU) Based on the information provided, we believe
Blanks CIA LTDA would be a reliable recipient of USML items.
However, the company's exact connection to M.G. Suber and
Associates remains uncertain.
JEWELL

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