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Cablegate: Rsvp: Extrancheck: Post-Shipment Verification;

VZCZCXYZ0019
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTU #2776 3211608
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 171608Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY TUNIS
TO RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
INFO RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 1668
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 0726
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2234

UNCLAS TUNIS 002776

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EB/ESP AND NEA/MAG FOR MAYA HARRIS
ICE HQ FOR STRATEGIC INVESTIGATIONS
PARIS AND ROME FOR ICE ATTACHE
USDOC FOR 3131 FOR FCS/OIO REGIONAL DIRECTOR GREGORY LOOSE
USDOC FOR OEA/532/M.HAMES/DORIS JOHNSON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: BEXP ETRD ETTC IT TS
SUBJECT: RSVP: EXTRANCHECK: POST-SHIPMENT VERIFICATION;
MINISTRY OF INTERIOR TUNISIA, LA D.A.A.F.(D335242)

REF: USDOC 04782

1. (SBU) EconOff was unable to conduct requested
Post-Shipment Verification (reftel) despite numerous attempts
to do so. The ultimate Consignee for this shipment of L72
laser sights was the Tunisian Ministry of Interior (MOI).

2. (SBU) The MOI has been reluctant to schedule an on-site
visit to verify that the purchased equipment is on location
and being used in accordance with the export license
agreement. Post has followed the required formalities and
has repeatedly requested an on-site visit. The point of
contact number listed in reftel led to Mr. Sassi Labben, the
Administrative Director at the MOI. The invoice number and
other relevant information were subsequently faxed to Mr.
Labben along with an explanation of the verification process
and a request that an on-site visit be permitted within a few
days. When no response was forthcoming, commercial
specialist again called Mr. Labben and was told that he had
passed the information on to his superiors and was waiting
for their permission. EconOff next brought the verification
issue up with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, North America
Division (MFA). The MFA was reluctant to get involved and
recommended that Post continue to pursue this matter directly
with MOI. EconOff, through the Embassy's Regional Security
Office, contacted Mr. Labben and Mr. Tahar Fellous of the
International Affairs Department of the MOI, explained the
verification requirement and again requested that an on-site
visit be scheduled to carry out the verification. Mr.
Fellous replied that the MOI misunderstood Post's initial
request for an on-site visit and explained that MOI was ready
to send a reply confirming that they had received the
equipment in question. RSO interlocutor explained that
EconOff is required to physically observe that subject
equipment had been received and that it was being used in
accordance with the export license. Mr. Fellous indicated
that he would check on whether an on-site visit would be
allowed and that he would get back to EmbOff. To date, there
has been no response from the MOI.

3. (SBU) EconOff also sent a diplomatic note to the MFA
requesting its assistance in arranging the on-site visit at
the MOI. The diplomatic note informed the MFA that if the
verification was not conducted by Monday, November 13, Post
would be required to file a negative report regarding the MOI
laser sight procurement. During a follow-up call on Tuesday,
November 14, the MFA indicated that it was still working on
scheduling the EconOff's on-site visit to MOI.

4. (SBU) Recommendation: Post cannot verify that the 32 L72
laser sights have been received by the MOI, nor that they are
being used in accordance with the terms of the export license
(number D335242). Post will continue to press the GOT to
allow EconOff to conduct this verification. For the moment,
in the absence of an on-site verification, Post does not
consider the MOI to be a good candidate to receive sensitive
U.S. technology based on the inability to conduct the on-site
verification.
GODEC

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