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Cablegate: Lebanon: Blue Lantern Level 3: Post Shipment

VZCZCXRO4152
PP RUEHAG RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHKUK RUEHLZ RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHLB #1791 3590413
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 240413Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIRUT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3844
INFO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS BEIRUT 001791

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR NEA/ELA
PM/DTCC BLUE LANTERN COORDINATOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EG ETTC GM KOMC LE
SUBJECT: LEBANON: BLUE LANTERN LEVEL 3: POST SHIPMENT
END-USE CHECK ON LICENSE 050057708 - CENTERFIRE AMMUNITION

REF: STATE 117106

1. (SBU) In response to reftel, questions regarding export
license application 050057708 for the export of 10 million
centerfire ammunition, calibers 5.56, 9mm, and 40S&W to the
Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF) in Lebanon, Post
confirms that this is a legitimate ISF purchase. In
coordination with Embassy's Office of Defense Coordination
(ODC) and Office of International Narcotics and Law (INL)
Chief Virginia Ramadan, we confirm the following background
information:

2. (SBU) Embassy PolMil officer and INL Section Chief
Virginia Ramadan met with ISF General Director, Major General
Achraf Rifi and General Ahmad Hneini of the ISF General
Directorate on December 15 and with General Hneini and
Mohammad Jamil, General Manager of the Mercantile Trading
Company on December 16.

3. (SBU) General Hneini confirmed that the ISF placed the
order for 10 million rounds of 5.56, 9mm and 40S&W caliper
ammunition. He explained that recruitment efforts brought the
ISF personnel levels to 23,500 and training anticipated for
2008 and 2009, for the enlarged force, required the larger
amounts of ammunition. He noted that in 2009 there would be
an emphasis in marksmanship training.

4. (SBU) General Hneini confirmed the ISF had placed the
order in July 2007. Additionally, he confirmed that all the
rounds on the license were delivered to or accounted for by
the ISF . He denied any rounds were diverted from or shipped
outside of Lebanon. Mr. Jamil presented Bills of Lading,
shipping receipts, and survey reports that accounted for 10
million rounds of ammunition.

5. (SBU) The ammunition departed New York Harbor in two
shipments, with eight containers of 127 pallets on the CMA
CGM vessel "Eiffel" and one container of 17 pallets on CMA
CGM vessel "Puget". Jamil explained th smaller shipment
needed to pass through the Egytian Port of Said to fulfill
the contract requirements with the shipper CMA CGM. CMA CGM
was stipulated the shipment with one container would need to
stop in Port Said Egypt before embarking on the last leg of
the voyage to Beirut. CMA CGM vessel, "Puget" would make a
stop at Port Said to rationalize the cargo onto a second
Bulgarian flagged vessel "Burgas" and then transit to Beirut.

6. (SBU) One container with 17 pallets was transferred from
the "Puget" to the "Burgas" in Port Said on 23 June 2008. The
container was never opened. Documentation provided by
Mercantile Trading substantiated the transshipment and
arrival of the cargo in Said and Beirut. Additionally, a
survey report of shortages was conducted at the request of
Joseph Hajal, a sworn surveyor following a complaint from
Mercantile Trading that the cargo showed signs of shortage.
The survey disclosed that one carton of 1000 rounds was
missing, one carton was missing one box of 20 rounds, and one
torn carton, after being hit by a forklift, was found to have
20 boxes of 20 rounds damaged. There is no evidence that any
ammunition on this license was shipped to an end-user outside
of Lebanon and no end user other than the ISF.

7. (SBU) Post confirms the Lebanese ISF is familiar with the
regulations governing import of U.S.-origen defense articles,
including restrictions on re-transfer and re-export.
SISON

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