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Cablegate: Blue Lantern Broker Inquiry Case No. K-2022

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPG #0713 3420755
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 080755Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY PRAGUE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 1994

UNCLAS PRAGUE 000713

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR PM/DTCC - BLUE LANTERN COORDINATOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETTC EZ KOMC
SUBJECT: BLUE LANTERN BROKER INQUIRY CASE NO. K-2022

REF: STATE 092963

1. (SBU) In response to reftel, Emboff visited the offices
of BANZAI spol. s.r.o. and met with its owners, Lukas Tracha
(general sales manager) and Vaclav Siroky (president), to
establish the bona fides of the company. As indicated on its
commercial registration certificate, BANZAI is licensed by
the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade to broker defense
articles and services, both within the Czech Republic and
internationally. Trachta says the company was established in
1991 and has eight employees. Trachta indicated that BANZAI
owns one and leases two weapons/munitions storage facilities,
all of which he explained are monitored 24/7 and, according
to documentation he presented, certified by the Czech
Ministry of Interior for secure storage. (Emboffs will visit
the facilities in the near future and provide any necessary
follow-up reporting if there are apparent deficiencies.)
Post is not aware of any derogatory information indicating
that the company has been involved in criminal activities or
dealings with proscribed entities.

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2. (SBU) Trachta stated that BANZAI's primary commercial
activities are the import and export of weapons and
accessories for the civilian market; the export of
refurbished excess defense articles (EDA) from the stocks of
the Czech and Hungarian armed forces; and the import of new
weapons systems for the Czech ministries of defense and
interior. Company documents indicate that brands represented
by BANZAI include Bushmaster Firearms International, U.S.
Ordnance, Smith and Wesson, Mossber/Maverick, Trijicon,
Leupold, Insight Technologies, Nightforce, Pachmayr, Hogue,
SIG/Sauer, Sellier and Bellot, and Ceska zbrojovka. Trachta
related that the company's EDA transactions have occurred
mainly within the Baltic region for end use by national
military forces, and that BANZAI has been contracted by
General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems to export
materiel to Afghanistan.

3. (SBU) The company's management appears to be fully aware
of and committed to compliance with U.S. and international
laws governing the acquisition, transfer, and import/export
of military materiel.
Thompson-Jones

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