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Friday, December 10, 2010

Moçambique é "o segundo centro de narco tráfico" de África Companhia de Armando Guebuza mencionada no relatório. Director das alfandegas e presidente da Camara de Nampula também são acusados de receberem subornos

Moçambique é o segundo lugar de África “mais activo para o trânsito de narcóticos depois da Guiné-Bissau”, diz um telegrama da embaixada norte-americana em Moçambique revelado pela WikiLeaks.
O telegrama atribui a expansão de Moçambique como um dos principais corredores do narcotráfico proveniente da Ásia e da América Latina com destino à África do Sul e à Europa à corrupção e ligações directas entre traficantes e as mais altas figuras do aparelho do partido no poder, Frelimo. 
“Apesar da retórica anti-corrupção, o Partido Frelimo não manifestou muita vontade política para combater o narcotráfico”, escreveu o encarregado de negócios da embaixada norte-americana em Maputo, Todd Chapman. 
O telegrama, datado de Setembro do ano passado, aponta o empresário multimilionário Mohamed Bachir Suleman como “o maior narcotraficante em Moçambique, com ligações directas ao presidente Guebuza e o antigo presidente Chissano”. 
Bashir, diz o telegrama, contribuiu grandemente para encher os cofres da Frelimo e forneceu um suporte financeiro significativo às campanhas eleitorais” de figuras do partido. 
Bachir tinha já anteriormente colocado na lista de traficantes drogas pelo departamento de Tesouro americano.
Segundo o documento, outro moçambicano de ascendência asiática, Ghulam Rassul Moti conta também com a cumplicidade das mais altas figuras do poder moçambicano. Este negou já a acusação.
O documento diz que entre os traficantes se encontram Bachir, Gulam Rassul  e a “família Ayoub” que “rotineiramente subornam polícias e entidades da imigração e alfandegas  para permitirem a entrada de drogas no país”.
No telegrama a diplomacia norte-americana salienta o caso da gestão do porto marítimo de Nacala, a mais de dois mil quilómetros a Norte de Maputo, referindo Celso Correia, presidente da empresa Insitec, uma companhgia controlada maioritariamente pelo Presidente Armando Guebuza como o homem por detrás do tráfico de droga a partir daquela região. 
Segundo se lê no telegrama, os traficantes subornam a polícia, os serviços de imigração e os responsáveis pelas transferências aduaneiras para assegurar que a droga proveniente do sudeste asiático entra “livremente no país”. 
Um nome especificamente mencionado no relatório é o de Domingos Tivane, director das alfandegas que é “um recipiente significativo dos subornos”.
O documento identifica o porto de Nacala como o principal ponto de entrada de drogas no pais e faz notar que em Julho de 2009 Correia foi nomeado  director do corredor de Nacala. O documento diz que pouco após isso Ghulam Moti  que  alegadamente contrabandeou  hashish e heroína para o norte de Moçambique reduziu os subornos  a funcionários locais em Nampula e Nacala fazendo pagamentos directamente ao que é descrito como destacadas entidades da Frelimo.
O presidente da câmara de Nampula Castro Serafim, diz o documento ficou particularmente irritado com o facto dos seus pagamentos terem sido desviados para destacados membros da Frelimo.
O documento da embaixada norte-americana em Maputo manifesta também apreensão com a nova Lei de Casinos, aprovada em Junho de 1999, que levantou restrições ao jogo “reduzindo as barreiras para os narcotraficantes branquearem os seus capitais”.
Reacções
O primeiro ministro de Moçambique Aires Ali  recusou se a comentar as acusações remetendo os jornalistas para a embaixada americana.
“As nossas relações com os Estados Unidos são boas” disse o chefe do governo moçambicano.
Um porta voz da embaixada americana disse que lamentava a divulgação de documentos secretos e que não podia comentar o conteúdo de “documentos classificados”.
“ o que posso dizer é que estamos preocupados com as actividades de narco  tráfico por Moçambique”, disse o porta voz. Ouça a reportagem com as declarações do primeiro ministro e do porta-voz da embaixada
Afonso Dhlakama líder do principal partido da oposição a Renamo exortou o presidente Armando Guebuza e o antigo presidente Joaquim Chissano a esclarecerem o assuntos.
“Não podem ficar mudos” disse Dhlakama. Ouça as declarações de Afonso Dhlakama.




Wikileaks Abala Moçambique

Documentos descrevem rede empresarial do presidente e seus familiares. Armando Guebuza teria beneficiado pessoalmente da compra de Cahora Bassa



drugsFoto: photos.com

Pó de Bébé. Nome dado pelos traficantes moçambicanos à heroína e cocaína
A divulgação de relatórios da embaixada americana em Maputo em que Moçambique é descrito com um dos principais pontos de entrada de drogas em África  e em que são feitas  acusações de corrupção contra altos dirigentes moçambicanos continua a provocar acesas discussões e reacções. 

No parlamento moçambicano a oposição acusou a bancada do partido no poder Frelimo de ser “a bancada do narcotráfico, haxixe e mandrax” enquanto alguns meios de informação moçambicanos fizeram hoje referencia a acusações de corrupção ao mais alto nível da liderança da Frelimo.
Um dos relatório mencionados  refere-se ao que diz serem os vastos interesses económicos do Presidente Armando Guebuza em Moçambique.
Um exemplo dado de como o presidente Moçambicano beneficia do seu envolvimento directo nessas companhias teria sido a compra da barragem de Cahora Bassa por 950 milhões de dólares pelo estado moçambicano. O documento diz que 700 milhões foram pagos por um consórcio de bancos privados algo que foi organizado por uma frente de Guebuza que teria recebido uma comissão de entre 35 e 50 milhões de dólares.
O banco português que organizou o financiamento entregou as acções no BCI fomento um dos maiores bancos comerciais de Moçambique a uma companhia controlada por Guebuza,  acrescenta o documento.
No que diz respeito ao trafico de drogas através de Moçambique um dos relatórios enviados pela embaixada americana repete acusações de envolvimento nesse trafico contra Mohamed Bashir que, segundo diz, tem boas relações com o presidente  Armando Guebuza e o seu predecessor Joaquim Chissano.
Outro alegado traficante é Ghulam Rassul Moti  que é também acusado de ser suspeito de estar envolvido no trafico de seres humanos.
O antigo  Presidente de Moçambique Joaquim Chissano negou  entretanto qualquer envolvimento com narcotráfico e classificou os documentos divulgados pelo portal WikiLeaks como “mentira grossa”.
Quanto à acusação de a FRELIMO receber dinheiro de empresários, como de Bachir Suleman que alegadamente está envolvido no narco tráfico, Joaquim Chissano disse à  agencia de noticias portuguesa Lusa que isso sempre foi prática normal de todos os partidos, que em campanhas faziam jantares com empresários, que prometiam determinadas somas.
Por outro lado o director das Alfândegas de Moçambique, Domingos Tivane, mostrou-se “surpreendido” com as informações divulgadas pelo «site» Wikileaks, que o apontam como um dos “atores chave” na aceitação de subornos para a FRELIMO.
No telegrama da embaixada norte-americana em Maputo, datado de 28 de janeiro de 2010, Domingos Tivane é referenciado como um dos “actores chave” nas pressões que no país são dirigidas contra a comunidade empresarial para obtenção de subornos e participações percentuais.
O correio diplomático norte-americano precisa que o chefe da Alfândega de Moçambique é conhecido por "pedir e receber abertamente luvas dos importadores".
Tivane disse ser difícil fazer comentários aquilo que descreveu de “percepções”.
Na sua primeira reacção às revelações feitas pela Wikileaks sobre droga e corrupção envolvendo figuras destacadas do Estado Moçambicano, Ismael Mussá, o secretário-geral do Movimento Democrático de Moçambique, MDM, defende que o presidente Armando Guebuza deverá ir ao Parlamento até ao encerramento desta legislatura, que termina, no próximo dia 22, para esclarecer o povo moçambicano acerca das acusações que têm vindo a ser feitas.
Anteriormente Afonso Dhlakama, o secretário geral da Renamo, maior partido da oposição,  disse que  Armando Guebuza não poderia  ficar “mudo” face às alegações.





Definido Perfil do Consumidor Moçambicano

O resultado de um estudo de pesquisa efectuado na capital do país e na cidade da Matola, entre finais de 2009 e princípios de 2010

Foto: Ana Guedes




O Perfil do Consumidor Moçambicano

Washington, 17 Dez 2010 - A Associação Moçambicana de Defesa do Consumidor – DECOM – apresentou hoje ao público, em Maputo, o “Perfil do Consumidor”, que é o resultado de um estudo de pesquisa efectuado na capital do país e na cidade da Matola, entre finais de 2009 e princípios de  2010. O Filipe Vieira falou com Mouzinho Nicols, director da DECOM, que traça o perfil do consumidor moçambicano.


Oposição Contesta Discurso de Guebuza Sobre Estado da Nação

A bancada parlamentar da Renamo, principal partido da oposição, abandonou a sala do Parlamento em sinal de protesto

Maputo, 20, Dez - 2010O presidente, Armando Guebuza, considera que o país "está no bom caminho rumo à prosperidade", apontando "melhorias" das condições de vida dos cidadãos em todos os domínios.
Na informação anual ao Parlamento, em que não são permitidas perguntas pelos deputados, Armando Guebuza apontou hoje avanços nos sectores económico, político e diplomático, mas apelou aos cidadãos para se prepararem para novos desafios em 2011. 
O discurso de 39 páginas centrou-se na produção e produtividade, sugerindo aos moçambicanos que continuem a trabalhar para resolver o problema da segurança alimentar, que, segundo referiu, "está a melhorar de forma notável".
A bancada parlamentar da Renamo, principal partido da oposição, abandonou a sala do Parlamento por discordar dos procedimentos da presidente da Assembleia da República, Verónica Macamo, que se recusou a dar a palavra a um deputado antes da ordem do dia. Ivone Soares, membro da Comissão Política da Renamo e presidente adjunta da Comissão parlamentar das Relações Externas, lamenta que o governo tenha ignorado pronunciar-se sobre as revelações do portal Wikileaks, que envolve no narcotráfico, várias figuras do Estado moçambicano.
José Manuel de Sousa, porta-voz do MDM, na oposição, considera que o discurso de Guebuza iludiu as expectativas, não passando de "um plágio" de discurso anteriores.
Para os muitos jovens moçambicanos, como é o caso de Mateus Cuna, o discurso presidencial nada trouxe de novo. Mateus Cuna é membro do Parlamento Juvenil, uma organização não partidária.


Wikileaks - 09HARARE24

ID: 09HARARE24
Dokument dato: 2009-01-09 08:08:00
Release dato: 2010-12-08 21:09:00
Kilde: Embassy Harare
header:

VZCZCXRO2958
OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHSB #0024/01 0090843
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 090843Z JAN 09
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3900
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI 0003
RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2535
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2657
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1150
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 0234
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1926
RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2281
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2706
RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA 0529
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5134
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 0068
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 5616
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 0021
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1813
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

Hovedtekst:

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000024 

SIPDIS 

AF/S FOR B. WALCH 
DRL FOR N. WILETT 
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU 
ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS 
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR E. LOKEN AND L. DOBBINS 
STATE PASS TO NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/09/2019 
TAGS:        
SUBJECT: MILITARY EXPANSION FUELS DIAMOND CHAOS XXXXXXXXXXXX

REF: A. IIR 6 926 0058 09 
B. 08 HARARE 1016 
C. 08 HARARE 1035 

Classified By: Ambassador James D. McGee for reason 1.4 (d) 

------- 
SUMMARY 
------- 

1. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX, poloff met with XXXXXXXXXXXX, 
XXXXXXXXXXXX region that contains the 
diamond-rich Marange fields, to discuss violence in the 
region as well as recent developments in the turbulent 
Marange diamond trade. XXXXXXXXXXXX described how the military 
expansion in XXXXXXXXXXXX in late November has been displacing 
the police and diverting the diamond flow from the Reserve 
Bank of Zimbabwe to the Zimbabwean military. This has not 
deterred the continued brisk diamond trade involving foreign 
buyers, including most prominently the Lebanese. END SUMMARY. 

------------------------------------ 
Shootings Continue as Bodies Pile Up 
------------------------------------ 

2. (C) The tribal chief XXXXXXXXXXXX, met 
with poloff in Harare XXXXXXXXXXXX and confirmed that 
military and police shootings in Marange are continuing, as 
security forces tighten their control over the diamond-rich 
area. This was seconded by a report we received from a human 
rights group in the region (REF A). According to the report, 
during police and military Operation Hakudzokwi, (Shona for 
"you won"t come back") which was aimed at clearing individual 
panners from the area, over 200 bodies turned up at Mutare 
Provincial Hospital Mortuary, Old Mutare Mission Hospital, 
Sakubva District Hospital, and private mortuaries. Many of 
those bodies arrived with fatal gunshot or dog bite wounds 
and were tagged "BID Marange" or "brought in dead from 
Marange." 

3. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX many of his people have been 
killed, beaten, and arrested for dealing in diamonds. The 
villagers had entrusted their diamond findings to XXXXXXXXXXXX
because he owned a safe and they thought his tribal status 
would be respected; however, the police forced him to turn 
over the village"s diamond stash to the security forces. 
XXXXXXXXXXXX is now in hiding in Harare. He also told us
XXXXXXXXXXXX he had been harassed, arrested, and beaten beat out . XXXXXXXXXXXX END NOTE.) 

---------------------------------------- 
Military Expansion Displacing the Police 
---------------------------------------- 

4. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX confirmed that the military has increased 
its numbers in the region and now exceeds the police presence 
by a large margin. He suspected the increase stemmed from 
concern that the power-sharing negotiations between ZANU-PF 
and the MDC might culminate in the awarding of the Home 

HARARE 00000024 002 OF 003 


Affairs ministry--which includes the police department--to 
the MDC. This would result in a tremendous loss of wealth 
and patronage that helps to maintain the Mugabe regime. 
Therefore, he believed that the military, which would remain 
under ZANU-PF control in the event of an agreement between 
the two parties, was seeking to consolidate its authority. 

5. (C) Digging by panners, according to XXXXXXXXXXXX, is 
continuing in Marange largely under the supervision of the 
military. The typical practice is for soldiers to supervise 
and escort groups of panners as they dig. Then at the end of 
the day, any diamonds found are apportioned between soldiers 
and diggers. XXXXXXXXXXXX said that military helicopters fly in 
daily and transport many of the diamonds to bases near 
Harare, where presumably they are taken by senior military 
commanders. 

-------------------------------------- 
Gono May Have Been Cut Out of the Deal 
-------------------------------------- 

6. (C) Prior to the military expansion in late November, it 
was well known by locals that Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) 
governor Gideon Gono had representatives in Mutare buying 
diamonds with bundles of freshly-printed Zimbabwean notes 
(Ref B). XXXXXXXXXXXX claimed that the military has now barred 
Gono"s operatives from the region and that diamonds are no 
longer being sent to the RBZ. All diamond purchases are now 
being conducted solely in foreign exchange. (NOTE: According 
to an article in the state-controlled newspaper, the Herald, 
Tendai Makurumidzi, a well-known Gono buyer who uses the 
alias "Gonyeti" was arrested sometime in November and had 
three of his vehicles seized. END NOTE.) XXXXXXXXXXXX explained 
that it used to be common to see 4x4 vehicles leaving 
XXXXXXXXXXXX, but now the roads have deteriorated to the point 
that access is only possible by foot or helicopter. 
Vehicular access to the greater area is also being controlled 
by police and military roadblocks, according to XXXXXXXXXXXX. 

----------------------- 
Foreign Buying Unabated 
----------------------- 

7. (C) While Gono"s access to diamonds may have been 
compromised, XXXXXXXXXXXX said that many diamonds are still being 
sold to foreign diamond buyers in Mutare and over the border 
in Mozambique by a mix of panners, police, and soldiers. In 
particular, Lebanese buyers have set up shop in large numbers 
in Mutare and typically pay for the diamonds with U.S. 
dollars. In order to operate safely, the Lebanese have 
formed profitable relationships with senior military and 
police officials in the region. Marginally more reputable 
buyers from Europe and other regions prefer to stay in 
Chimoio in Mozambique. Chimoio affords these buyers 
protection from Zimbabwean police and soldiers who commonly 
seize cash, diamonds, and vehicles from them in Mutare, but 
that safety is offset by higher diamond prices. 

------- 
COMMENT 
------- 

8. (C) We previously reported on a meeting between Gono and 
the Russian diamond monopoly ALROSA (Ref C) in November. 
Recent press reports, corroborated by Embassy sources, 

HARARE 00000024 003 OF 003 


indicate that Mugabe is planning a trip to Russia in January 
to discuss mining investment opportunities. With the GOZ 
desperate for forex, such a trip could involve discussion of 
a Chiadzwa diamond deal between Zimbabwe and Russia. END 
COMMENT. 

MCGEE



Wikileaks - 09MAPUTO713


ID: 09MAPUTO713
Dokument dato: 2009-07-01 04:04:00
Release dato: 2010-12-08 21:09:00
Kilde: Embassy Maputo
header:

VZCZCXRO3029
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHTO #0713/01 1820455
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 010455Z JUL 09
FM AMEMBASSY MAPUTO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0443
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0430
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEABND/DEA WASHDC
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUCNFB/FBI WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

Hovedtekst:

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 MAPUTO 000713 

SIPDIS 
NOFORN 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/25/2019 
TAGS:       
SUBJECT: RISING CONCERNS ABOUT NARCOTRAFFICKING AND MONEY 
LAUNDERING IN Mozambique 

REF: A. 08 MAPUTO 1228 
B. 08 MAPUTO 1098 

Classified By: Charge d"Affaires Todd C.Chapman, Reasons 1.4(b+d) 

1. (S/NF) Summary: Large-scale narcotics shipments pass 
through Mozambique, taking advantage of a vast and lightly 
guarded coastline. Money laundering may be increasing. 
Narcotraffickers in the country have connections to South 
Asia, and some appear to have links to the ruling Frelimo 
party and the GRM. Using Department of State INL funds, the 
Embassy has led a successful border security program with the 
Portuguese Embassy that has resulted in the seizure of 
narcotics. The mission has also provided support via DoD and 
Treasury, and directed counternarcotic assessments by the 
Africa Command, LegAtt, and DEA. While not a 
thoroughly-corrupted narco-state, the trends in Mozambique 
suggest cause for concern unless the GRM takes quick action 
to address these growing problems. End Summary. 

------------------------------- 
Large Scale Narcotics Shipments 
------------------------------- 

2. (S/NF) In a series of investigative reports late last 
year, Mozambique newsweekly Zambeze claimed Mozambique was 
considered by some estimates to be the second largest drug 
transit country in Africa after Guinea-Bissau. XXXXXXXXXXXX
Recent incidents suggest that larger amounts of 
narcotics are indeed passing through the country, taking 
advantage of a coastline twice the length of California"s 
with minimal control. Long-time commentator on Mozambique 
Joseph Hanlon publicly declared in May that the value of 
illicit drugs passing through the country probably surpasses 
combined legal external trade. In mid-May, police seized $5 
million in heroin at the Ressano Garcia-Lebombo border with 
South Africa. In mid-June, police destroyed 7,000 liters of 
precursor chemicals discovered at the port of Maputo from 
China en route to South Africa; the United Nations Office of 
Drug Control indicates that this port is heavily used to 
import chemicals used for meth production. XXXXXXXXXXXX
 have described to P/E chief how 
Pakistani-owned trucking companies based in Sofala province 
over-declare imports at the Beira port as one way to hide the 
quantities of drugs coming into the country. Early on June 
20, police discovered about one ton of hashish at Chongouene 
beach in Gaza province after receiving calls from local 
fishermen about suspicious vehicle movements in the area. 

------------------------------------- 
Signs of Money Laundering Proliferate 
------------------------------------- 

3. (S/NF) A source inside the Frelimo party recently told 
the Embassy that Mozambique, with ten banks and thirty 
legally-registered exchange houses, has significantly more 
financial institutions than the market in such an 
impoverished country should be able to support with 
legitimate business. He also observed that 1500 construction 
projects are currently underway in Maputo--most financed with 
cash and mostly in real estate, and noted that it was unusual 
that housing prices in Maputo are increasing in spite of the 
world financial crisis. Separately, Hanlon indicates that 
the rapid growth in Mozambique"s stock market is suspect, as 
the value of stocks listed on the exchange is predicted to 
reach $100 million within two years of opening. Finally, lax 
regulation of casinos has raised concern by local radio and 
TV commentators about that sector"s role in money laundering. 

--------------------------- 
Criminal Ties to South Asia 
--------------------------- 

4. (S/NF) A USAID report issued in 2006 notes that commerce 
in Maputo depends on the financial acumen of a small number 
of Muslims of South Asian-descent who contribute generously 
to the FRELIMO party. A major contributor to former 
President Chissano and President Guebuza from this community, 
who resides less than a hundred meters from the Presidential 
Compound, Mohamed Bashir Suleman (MBS), is the owner of the 

MAPUTO 00000713 002 OF 003 


commercial MBS Group. Contacts at all levels have advised 
Emboffs that MBS is a known large-scale narco-trafficker. 
They indicate that MBS uses his FRELIMO party connections, as 
well as his shopping mall, supermarkets, and hotels to import 
narcotics and launder money without official scrutiny. Other 
South Asian businessmen with ties to FRELIMO also operate a 
vast network of loosely-regulated money changing houses, 
which reportedly maintain financial ties with more radical 
organizations in 
Pakistan and elsewhere. 

5. (S/NF) A business contact recently shared with P/E chief 
a copy of a letter from Mozambique"s Chamber of Business 
Associations (CTA) to the Prime Minister, expressing concern 
about one company selling imported vegetable oils at prices 
clearly below cost, noting that this type of price dumping 
could result in the withdrawal from the market of other 
companies and ultimately a monopoly to form. The contact 
said that the letter was in response to efforts by the MBS 
Group to consolidate control of this sector--but in reality 
the message had nothing to do with vegetable oil--rather, it 
was a veiled warning from the 
business community to the government that MBS Group"s use of 
vegetable oil to cover the import of illicit drugs was so 
brazen that it was no longer tolerable. 

------------------------------------ 
Narcotrafficking Connections in GRM? 
------------------------------------ 

6. (S/NF) The Frelimo source also told the Charge that MBS 
Group regularly uses phantom imports to launder money, and 
indicated that MBS and another immigrant, Ahmed Gassan (owner 
of the Home Center Furniture store) collude with the GRM"s 
head of customs (who he called "the King of Corruption") 
to reduce scrutiny on imports. The source also indicated 
that Gassan"s business interests are personally protected by 
Minister of Planning and Development Aiuba Cuereneia. 

--------------------------------------------- ---------- 
USG Border Security, OTA, DoD Support, Other Assessments 
--------------------------------------------- ---------- 

7. (C) Using Department of State INL bureau funds, the 
Embassy has a highly-successful joint project with the 
Embassy of Portugal to provide training for GRM border 
guards. With a very small investment of less than $200,000, 
this program has led to the seizure of $2.5 million in cash 
and the arrest of two Pakistani smugglers (ref B). While the 
program was denied funding in FY09, it may receive support 
again in FY10. Mozambique"s Tax Authority (AT) has garnered 
a reputation for honesty and transparency, and the AT"s 
director has publicly criticized the head of Customs about 
smuggling concerns. Via the Department of Treasury"s Office 
of Technical Assistance, the USG is providing training and 
capacity building to the AT, and is reviewing ways to 
specifically support the AT"s Financial Intelligence Unit. 
DoD provided maritime training, small boats , and coastal 
monitoring systems to the FADM and more of this type of 
support is programmed for the future. Finally, at the 
request of the Embassy, Africa Command, DEA, Treasury and 
LegAtt representatives visited Maputo in early June to 
conduct a joint assessment of the drug trafficking problem 
and the GRM"s capabilities. Initial findings validated the 
pervasiveness of the problem and identified the institutional 
weakness and level of corruption of Mozambican law 
enforcement agencies as core problems inhibiting a coherent 
government response. 

8. (SBU) At the most recent mini-Dublin meeting chaired in 
late-May by the Portuguese Embassy, representatives from the 
Dutch, British and German embassies specifically pointed out 
weaknesses in the GRM"s enforcement activities, highlighting 
that concerns are widespread in the international community. 
These concerns were quickly borne out, as in a presentation 
at the meeting, a representative of the GRM"s Inter-agency 
Working Group on Narcotrafficking focused entirely on 
domestic consumption and addressing the health needs of local 
drug addicts. 

--------------------------------------------- ----------- 
Comment: Not Thoroughly-Corrupted, but Cause for Concern 

MAPUTO 00000713 003 OF 003 


--------------------------------------------- ----------- 

9. (S/NF) Mozambique most certainly is not yet a 
thoroughly-corrupted narco-state. However, it is becoming 
increasingly clear that the magnitude of the drug shipments 
passing through Mozambique may be on a much larger scale than 
previously understood, taking advantage of the country"s long 
and unprotected coast and the facility with which port and 
customs officials can be bribed. Money laundering, related 
government corruption (possibly even official support), and 
ties to South Asia mean that the problem has the potential to 
get much worse. While the mission has made initial steps to 
bring USG resources to bear, the road ahead will require a 
comprehensive and coordinated effort by the international 
community to staunch the flow of drugs, not to mention 
strengthen the political will of the GRM to take concrete 
action. 
CHAPMAN


Wikileaks - 09MAPUTO1291

ID: 09MAPUTO1291 Dokument dato: 2009-11-16 07:07:00 Release dato: 2010-12-08 21:09:00 Kilde: Embassy Maputo header:
VZCZCXRO8735
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHTO #1291/01 3200705
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 160705Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY MAPUTO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0991
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0569
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC
Hovedtekst:
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 MAPUTO 001291 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/17/2019 
TAGS:     
SUBJECT: IMPORTANT DRUG TRAFFICKING TRANSIT POINT FOR EAST 
AFRICA 

REF: STATE 105731 

Classified By: Charge d"Affaires Todd C. Chapman for reasons 1.4 (b and 
d) 

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Drug trafficking is a growing problem in 
Mozambique,  with illegal drugs entering via air and sea routes from South  Asia and  South America. Porous borders, lack of law enforcement  resources, and  rampant corruption allow drug traffickers to freely transit  the country. 
END SUMMARY 

---------- 
Air Routes 
---------- 

2. (S) The primary route for cocaine is by air to Maputo 
from Brazil  via Johannesburg, Lisbon or Luanda. On arrival passengers and  baggage  do not pass through immigration and customs, which allows  them to avoid  he improved security at the airports of origin. Drugs  (mostly cocaine)  are smuggled overland to South Africa for local South African  consumption  or onward to Europe. Cocaine is often smuggled by mules  and/or in 
suitcases with hidden compartments. The drug traffickers 
routinely bribe  Mozambique police, immigration and customs officials in order  to get the  drugs into the country. The decrease in drug related arrests  at Maputo  International Airport is not attributable to improved  interdiction efforts  but rather increased police and customs involvement in drug smuggling.  A high level law enforcement official admits most police drug seizures 
are not reported to his office because traffickers and police 
make  on-the-spot arrangements to allow the drugs to continue to 
flow.  Police and customs officials routinely detain drug smugglers 
and are then bribed to release the smugglers and the drugs are 
confiscated and resold. Domingos Tivane, the Director of Customs, is directly involved in facilitating drug shipments. Tivane has amassed a personal fortune in excess of a million dollars, to include numerous  investments around  Mozambique. 

---------- 
Sea Routes 
---------- 

3. (S) Transport by sea is the preferred route for hashish,  mandrax 
and heroin shipments, often involving large quantities.  Drugs come 
from Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. They are then loaded 
onto a  vessel that sails to Dar Es-Salam, Tanzania, or Mombasa, 
Kenya. 
Drugs are often concealed in containers with legitimate goods 
and are  often offloaded and sent via land to Mozambique. 
Alternatively, the vessel offloads its cargo in the Ports of Maputo, Beira and  especially  Nacala. Drugs are then smuggled overland to South Africa or  onward via  air, to the U.S. and Europe. 

----------------------------------- 
Two Main Drug Trafficking Networks 
----------------------------------- 

4. (S) There are two large drug trafficking networks that 
operate  in Mozambique. Both of these networks have ties to South 
East Asia.  Mohamed Bashir Suleiman (MBS) is the head of a well financed 

MAPUTO 00001291 002 OF 002 


organized  crime and money laundering network centered on the family  owned and  managed business conglomerate Grupo MBS. Suleiman uses Grupo  MBS and  proxies like Rassul Trading, run by Ghulam Rassul, and Niza  Group,  owned by the Ayoub family, to smuggle drugs from Pakistan via  Dubai  in containers carrying televisions, electrical equipment,  cooking oil  and automobiles. The Suleiman family has connections in  South Africa, Somalia, Pakistan, Latin America and Portugal, and maintains a complex structure of businesses with a wide variety of commercial activities  that serve as a cover for a multitude of illegal activities.  Suleiman has a close relationship with former President of  Mozambique  Joaquim Chissano and current President Armando Guebuza, and  enjoys 
ties to senior level Mozambican officials, including the  Direct 
or of Customs, Tivane. Grupo MBS and the Suleiman family 
reportedly  have connections in the Ibrahim Dawood international drug syndicate. 

5. (S) Ghulam Rassul Moti is a Mozambique based ethnic 
South Asian  narcotics trafficker who has smuggled hashish and heroin in the Nampula  province of Northern Mozambique since at least 1993. He has been linked to several prominent international narcotics traffickers and uses these relationships and his political influence to avoid customs and police inspections at the seaports and borders. Moti owns Rassul Trading Co. and Grupo ARJ which are major narcotics importers in Nacala, and suspected in the trafficking of persons, mainly Pakistanis. Post is also seeing increased cooperation between West and East African based narcotics networks with Mozambique drug networks. The 
main drug organizations are rumored to support extremist Islamist 
elements in Mozambique. 

--------------------------------------------- ---- 
Corruption of Senior Level Government Officials 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 


6. (S) A porous border, lack of resources for law 
enforcement as well as endemic corruption among Mozambique"s senior level officials leads to a situation where drug traffickers are able to freely transit the country. Mid-level Mozambican officials are afraid to go after people involved in the major drug networks because they know they have connections to senior level government officials. 
Senior members of the ruling FRELIMO party are seeking to hide the level of corruption from the press, the electorate and the international donor community. As a high level law enforcement official also said recently in private, "Some fish are too big to catch." 
CHAPMA


Wikileaks - 10MAPUTO80





ID: 10MAPUTO80
Dokument dato: 2010-01-25 11:11:00 Release dato: 2010-12-08 21:09:00 Kilde: Embassy Maputo header:
VZCZCXRO6812
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHTO #0080/01 0251156
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 251156Z JAN 10 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY MAPUTO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1213
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0600
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
Hovedtekst:
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 MAPUTO 000080 

NOFORN 
SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/28/2019 
TAGS:     
SUBJECT: NARCOTRAFFICKING ON UPSWING, CONCERNS ABOUT 
GOVERNMENT CONNECTIONS 

REF: A. 09 MAPUTO 1309 
B. 09 MAPUTO 1291 
C. 09 MAPUTO 713 
D. 08 MAPUTO 1228 
E. 08 MAPUTO 1098 

Classified By: Charge d"Affaires Todd Chapman for reasons 1.4 (b+d) 

1. (S/NF) SUMMARY: Mozambique has been called the second 
most active narcotics transit point in Africa after Guinea 
Bissau (Ref C). Despite anti-corruption rhetoric, the ruling 
FRELIMO party has not shown much serious political will to 
combat narcotrafficking. Mohamed Bashir Suleman (MBS), 
described as the largest narcotrafficker in Mozambique, has 
direct ties to President Guebuza and former President 
Chissano. Other traffickers bribe both high and low level 
officials. Chief of Customs Domingos Tivane is a significant 
recipient of these narcotrafficking-related bribes. Police 
officials told Embassy officers that they are unwilling to go 
after "big fish" narcotraffickers because of their ties to 
senior officials. The Ministries of Interior and Finance 
have recently back-pedaled on U.S. efforts to engage and 
assist in narcotrafficking and money laundering, a 
significant associated problem. The management of the port 
of Nacala, infamous for allowing the flow of drug 
transshipments from southwest Asia, was recently taken over 
by Celso Correia, principal of Insitec, Ltd, a Guebuza front 
company. A new casino law reduces gambling restrictions in 
Mozambique, providing another avenue for money laundering. 
U.S. support to Border Security and the Mozambican military 
(FADM) has resulted in modest seizures of money and drugs. 
Post looks forward to an upcoming INL visit to help elaborate 
a comprehensive counter-narcotics trafficking (CNT) strategy. 
Any such CNT strategy, after first gauging political will 
which at this point is suspect, should consider the 
strengthening of land and maritime border security, 
professionalization of the police force, educational 
programming for prosecutors on Mozambican CNT laws already in 
place, and development of a financial intelligence 
capability. END SUMMARY. 

-------------------------------------------- 
NARCOTRAFFICKERS BLANDISHING GRM AND FRELIMO 
-------------------------------------------- 

2. (S/NF) Mohamed Bashir Suleman (MBS), described by 
multiple contacts as the largest narcotrafficker in 
Mozambique, contributes heavily to FRELIMO"s coffers, and has 
provided significant financial backing to the campaigns of 
former President Joaquim Chissano and current President 
Armando Guebuza. (Note: See TD-314/085221-09 regarding 
written communication from the Office of the Presidency 
directing certain containers be exempted from standard 
scanning and scrutiny at the Port of Maputo. End Note.) 
Traffickers, including MBS, Gulam Rassul, and the Ayoub 
Family (Ref A) routinely bribe police, immigration and 
customs officials to ensure that drugs can enter the country. 
Domingos Tivane, Chief of the Customs Service, is a 
significant recipient of bribes from narcotraffickers (Ref 
B), and he recently purchased real estate in Maputo valued at 
well beyond what his government salary should be able to 
afford. 

------------------------------------------ 
POLICE UNWILLING TO PURSUE MANY DRUG CASES 
------------------------------------------ 

4. (S/NF) Senior members of the Mozambican Police (PRM) have 
told Emboffs that potential CNT training would only help them 
with small-scale traffickers, while other "big fish" would 
remain too large to catch. Of the more than ten cocaine and 
heroin seizures in 2009 at the Maputo airport, none have 
resulted in prosecutions. A senior law enforcement official 
has admitted to Emboffs that most drug seizures are not made 
public and not prosecuted because police and customs 
officials use such seizures to enrich themselves. Such 
officials extract bribes, and may retain the drugs seized for 
resale. Despite repeated requests, the Minister of Interior 
(charged with overall responsibility for police and for 
counter-narcotics) has refused to meet with the CDA to 
discuss increased joint CNT efforts. The GRM recently raised 
objections to an offer for a U.S. Department of Treasury 
official to be embedded into the Financial Crimes Unit, after 
initially agreeing to and supporting the offer. 

--------------------------------------------- 
PROVINCIAL PORTS ATTRACTIVE FOR DRUG TRANSITS 

MAPUTO 00000080 002 OF 002 


--------------------------------------------- 

5. (S/NF) The port of Nacala in particular is believed to be 
a major recipient of narcotics from Southwest Asia. In July 
2009, Celso Correia, who is a principal in Insitec, Ltd, (a 
company whose major shareholder is President Armando 
Guebuza-septel), was installed as head of the Northern 
Development Corridor (CDN) which includes the port of Nacala 
and the northern rail network. Shortly thereafter, Ghulam 
Rassul Moti, who has smuggled hashish and heroin into 
northern Mozambique since at least 1993 (Ref B) greatly 
reduced bribes to local Nacala and Nampula municipal 
authorities and made the payments instead directly to senior 
FRELIMO officials. Nampula Mayor Castro Serafim was reported 
to be particularly irritated that these monthly payments had 
been re-routed straight to higher-level FRELIMO leaders. 

-------------------------------- 
NEW CASINO LAW CAUSE FOR CONCERN 
-------------------------------- 

6. (S) In January, President Guebuza signed into law a new 
"Casino Bill." Passed by the National Assembly (AR) in June 
2009, the law relaxes restrictions on gambling in Mozambique, 
reducing the minimum investment for a casino from $15 to $8 
million, legalizing online gambling, and allowing slot 
machines to be positioned in otherwise non-gambling 
environments. The law also passes financial control of 
casinos from the Ministry of Finance to the less rigorous 
Ministry of Tourism. This bill was passed to encourage 
tourism; however, given Mozambique"s minimal financial 
controls, the law will effectively reduce the barriers to 
narcotraffickers looking to launder funds. Nazir Lunat, a 
FRELIMO parliamentarian and influential imam in Maputo, 
recently resigned from his position in the National Assembly 
(AR) because of concerns over the law allowing casino 
liberalizations. 

------------------------------------- 
USG SUPPORT HAS HAD POSITIVE OUTCOMES 
------------------------------------- 

7. (S) With USG support, there has been some progress in 
combating drug trafficking. Using INL funds, Embassy Maputo, 
working with the Embassy of Portugal, provided training to 
border guards which resulted in the seizure of U.S. $2.5 
million in cash and the arrest of two Pakistani smugglers 
(Ref E). In mid-May 2009 police seized U.S. $5 million in 
heroin at the Ressano Garcia border crossing into South 
Africa. Employing 7-meter, rigid hull inflatable boats 
donated by the DoD using Section 1206 funds, the Mozambican 
navy has interdicted several drug shipments near the coast, 
most recently in December. 

------------------------------------------ 
COMMENT: COMPREHENSIVE CNT STRATEGY NEEDED 
------------------------------------------ 

8. (S) Post looks forward to an upcoming INL visit to help 
elaborate a comprehensive CNT strategy. USG interests in CNT 
in Mozambique involve multiple USG departments, including 
State, DoD, DoJ, DHS, and Treasury. Our CNT strategy must 
first address ways to strengthen the GRM"s political will to 
address narcotrafficking, while preparing Mozambique with a 
host of programs, to include strengthening of land and 
maritime border security, professionalization of the police 
force, educational programming for prosecutors on Mozambican 
CNT laws already in place, and development of a financial 
intelligence capability.


Wikileaks - 10MAPUTO86





ID: 10MAPUTO86 Dokument dato: 2010-01-28 06:06:00 Release dato: 2010-12-08 21:09:00 Kilde: Embassy Maputo header:
VZCZCXRO0006
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHTO #0086/01 0280621
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 280621Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY MAPUTO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1221
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0605
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
Hovedtekst:
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 MAPUTO 000086 

NOFORN 
SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/28/2020 
TAGS:        
SUBJECT: XXXXXXXXXXXX TALKS OF CORRUPTION AT THE 
HIGHEST LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT 

REF: A. MAPUTO 80 
B. 07 MAPUTO 1395 

MAPUTO 00000086 001.2 OF 003 


Classified By: Charge d"Affaires Todd Chapman for reasons 1.4 (b+d) 

1. (S/NF) SUMMARY: The Charge recently met with XXXXXXXXXXXX
--("the source") who described his frustrations with FRELIMO, President
Guebuza, and Mohamed Bashir Suleiman (MBS). He complained that
they exercise  complete control over the licit and illicit economy of 
Mozambique. The source, who has excellent connections within 
the Government of Mozambique (GRM), including the private  number
of the President, as well as a personal relationship  with MBS,
said "I do not want to do business anymore in Mozambique
“ because of this triumverate of control. He is liquidating his
assets and leaving Mozambique, and says that he now sees
the "malaise" in Mozambique as if "he had cataracts
 but now see it all." 
2. (S/NF) The source describes President Guebuza, who he 
has known and befriended for the past twenty years as a 
"vicious scorpion who will sting you," and has an even more 
grav assessment of MBS. He cautions that FRELIMO is not 
interested in bettering the life of Mozambique"s citizens, 
but rather its self-enrichment. In the licit economy, the 
ruling party, FRELIMO, and MBS work in tandem to control the 
legal and illegal economies and restrict the space for 
private sector growth by demanding a cut of all significant 
business transactions. In the illicit economy, MBS dominates 
money laundering and drug transshipment, providing kickbacks 
to FRELIMO. Other key players involved in pressuring the 
business community for bribes or percentage stakes, according 
to the source, are Domingos Tivane, head of Customs, and 
former Prime Minister Luisa Diogo. END SUMMARY. 
----------------------------------- 
MOHAMED BASHIR SULEIMAN AND GUEBUZA 
----------------------------------- 

3. (S/NF) The source XXXXXXXXXXXX. He speculated that 
over the next  term Guebuza would use his business proxies
to amass a still larger personal fortune. Guebuza manages his 
business interests through several front companies, including 
Celso Ismael Correia"s Insitec and Salimo Abdullah"s Intelec 
Holdings. The source said that MBS meets directly with 
President Guebuza, who has direct knowledge of MBS" funding 
to both the FRELIMO party (underwriting the recent election 
campaign) and Guebuza"s front companies. The source, who 
described Correia as a "30 year-old pipsqueak," stated that 
Correia has no business experience or university degree, but 
shows great loyalty to Guebuza. 

4. (C) Guebuza"s business interests in Mozambique are 
legion. They include stakes in Mocambique Gestores (MG), 
Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC) which runs Maputo 
Port, Focus 21, Navique, Vodacom, and SASOL. Guebuza also 
has a share in Maputo Corridor Logistics Initiative (MCLI) 
which controls the toll road from Maputo to South Africa, 
according to the source. Guebuza has shares in a significant 
number of banks, including BCI Fomento (where Correia is 
Chairman), Mocambique Capitais, Moza Banco, and Geocapital. 
Through family members, Guebuza also controls Intelec 
Business Advisory and Consulting, Beira Grain Terminal, MBT 
Construction Ltd, Englob Consultants Ltd, Mozambique Power 
Industries, Macequece Ltd, and Mozambique Natural Resources 
Corp. 

5. (S/NF) One new area that Guebuza appears to be 
interested in is the gaming industry. The source says that 
Guebuza forced the Constitutional Council (CC) to review and 
declare a recent law liberalizing the gaming industry as 
"constitutional" even though it calls for all casino assets 
to revert to the state after a defined period of time, in 
direct contravention of private property laws enshrined in 
the Constitution. The judges of the CC, who also ruled in 
favor of decisions during the elections to invalidate large 
numbers of opposition candidates in the legislative and 
presidential races, complained of the unconstitutionality of 
the new law, but were told to give it a favorable ruling, 
which they did. 

6. (S/NF) The source elaborated on the depth of Guebuza"s 
business interests, which range across the economy. He said 

MAPUTO 00000086 002.2 OF 003 


that Guebuza is in on almost all of the "mega-project" 
multi-million dollar deals via contractual stipulations to 
work with the Mozambican private sector. One example is 
Guebuza"s involvement in the 2007 purchase of Cahora Bassa 
Hydroelectric Dam (HCB) from the Portuguese Government for 
$950 million. $700 million of this was paid by a private 
consortium of banks, which was arranged by a Guebuza proxy, 
for which Guebuza received, while he was a sitting president, 
an estimated commission of between $35 and $50 million. The 
Portuguese bank which arranged the financing turned over its 
shares in BCI Fomento, one of the largest Mozambican 
commercial banks, to a Guebuza-controlled company. 

--------------- 
MBS AND FRELIMO 
--------------- 

7. (S/NF) The source, says that FRELIMO brazenly squeezes 
the business community for kickbacks. As an example, the 
source said that he has personally seen Manuel Tome, former 
FRELIMO Secretary General, senior member of the National 
Assembly, and relative of President Chissano, in MBS" office 
receiving pay-offs quite openly. Head of Customs Domingos 
Tivane openly demands and receives payoffs from importers, 
including MBS. The source stated that one business contact 
remarked to him that when visiting Tivane"s expansive home to 
deliver a bribe he noticed that the bureaucrat had solid gold 
fixtures in his bathroom. The source also stated that former 
Prime Minister Luisa Diogo, until she was removed from the 
Cabinet (septel), was heavily involved in taking bribes for 
FRELIMO, of which she kept a percentage. Similar allegations 
were raised in the 21 January issue of Zambeze, regarding 
soft loans paid to Diogo"s husband Albano Silva, purchases of 
houses and buildings for a fraction of their value, as well 
as Diogo"s close ties to officials such as Diodino Cambaza, 
whose corruption trial is ongoing. 

8. (S/NF) At the ports, the source commented that FRELIMO 
has its own clearing agent that handles FRELIMO and MBS 
business. The clearing agent chronically under-invoices 
items, avoids the 17% VAT, and also has an arrangement with 
Tivane"s Customs authorities to bypass the ports" mandatory 
scanning. The source has documentary proof of the 
under-invoicing by MBS, and poloff has seen MBS" trucks drive 
through the port without being scanned. Nonetheless, the 
source said that Government of Mozambique (GRM) officials 
routinely describe MBS as an "untouchable" due to his 
connections to Tivane and Guebuza, a situation which is 
reported to irk a cash-strapped Tax Authority (AT) President 
Rosario Fernandes. 

------------------------- 
MBS AND OTHER BUSINESSMEN 
------------------------- 

9. (S/NF) Regarding MBS" retail operation, the source 
states that MBS does not tolerate competition. The source"s 
milk processing facility was threatened by MBS who used 
VAT-avoidance and under-invoicing to dump vast quantities of 
imported condensed milk on the market in order to put the 
source out of business. Only after the source made an 
agreement with MBS for exclusive distribution of his milk 
products, with a 10% kickback on all sales to MBS, did MBS 
stop his dumping practices. Other businessmen have 
complained about similar practices in other commodities to 
include edible oil. The source complained that "even those 
who bribe" MBS or FRELIMO cannot make a profit under such 
conditions. 

------------------------------ 
NARCOTICS AND MONEY LAUNDERING 
------------------------------ 

10. (S/NF) The source says he only has second hand 
knowledge of drug trafficking and money laundering in 
Mozambique. He said that "MBS and the "Nacala dealers" all 
have offices in Dubai" to facilitate money laundering 
operations in Mozambique. It is through these operations 
that after 15 years in business in Mozambique, MBS was able 
to pay $30 million in cash to establish his shopping plaza 
downtown, Maputo Shopping, which opened in 2007. The source 
said that he asked prominent Ismaili/Aga Khan businessman 
Mustaque Ali how MBS became so rich so fast, and Ali"s wry 
answer was "Johnson"s baby powder," a euphemism for drugs. 
The source noted that the sometimes erratic changes in 

MAPUTO 00000086 003.2 OF 003 


Mozambique"s foreign exchange position are due to sudden 
multi-million dollar transfers of cash overseas tied to money 
laundering. The source commented that in the past few years 
there have been several embarrassing situations in which 
shiploads of drugs, primarily hashish and heroin have washed 
ashore; however, the media is usually afraid to report on 
such incidents because no one wants to become another Carlos 
Cardoso, the courageous Mozambican journalist who was 
murdered in 2000 while investigating a massive bank fraud 
tied to then-President Chissano"s family. 

--------------------------------------------- 
COMMENT: CANDID COMMENTS FROM A CONNECTED MAN 
--------------------------------------------- 

11. (S/NF) The source, XXXXXXXXXXXX While he has an axe to 
grind because he is frustrated with the scope and depth of 
corruption in Mozambique, his statements corroborate what we 
have learned from other sources (Ref A). Ties with MBS and 
other known money launders and narcotraffickers by senior GRM 
officials are disturbing and demonstrate a short-sighted 
focus on self-enrichment. The source cautions against 
building long term relationships with FRELIMO, and fears 
that, having allowed the illicit economy to prosper, and 
having advertised Mozambique as a money laundering 
destination and drug transshipment hotspot, the ruling party 
will no longer be able to control the nefarious activities 
within its borders. Rumors and stories of corruption abound 
in Mozambique, but rarely will a successful well-connected 
XXXXXXXXXXXX be willing to share specific practices based 
on first-hand knowledge and participation in these practices.
 
CHAPMAN

Wikileaks - 08MADRID685










ID: 08MADRID685
Dokument dato: 2008-06-20 06:06:00 Release dato: 2010-12-08 12:12:00 Kilde: Embassy Madrid header:
VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMD #0685/01 1720626
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 200626Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4960
INFO RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS 4000
RUEHBP/AMEMBASSY BAMAKO 0040
RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 0143
RUEHLI/AMEMBASSY LISBON 1712
RUEHNJ/AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA 0013
RUEHNM/AMEMBASSY NIAMEY 0130
RUEHNK/AMEMBASSY NOUAKCHOTT 1161
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT 6097
RHMFISS/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC
RUEWMFD/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
Hovedtekst:
C O N F I D E N T I A L MADRID 000685

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/18/2018
TAGS:    

SUBJECT: JUNE 8-11 VISIT TO SPAIN OF COMMANDER, U.S. AFRICA
COMMAND

REF: MADRID 678

Classified By: DEPUTY CHIEF OF MISSION HUGO LLORENS, REASONS 1.4(B) AND
(D).

1. (C) Summary: General William E. "Kip" Ward, Commander U.S. Africa Command, visited Spain June 8-11 for meetings with Spanish officials regarding AFRICOM. The primary purpose of the visit was to meet with Spanish leaders to discuss AFRICOM as well as listen and learn from their experiences on the continent and island nations. General Ward met with Chief of Defense General Felix Sanz, Secretary
General of the Presidency Bernardino Leon, MFA Secretary of State for Foreign Policy Angel Lossada, and MOD Secretary General for Defense Policy Luis Cuesta. He also gave an interview to leading Spanish daily El Pais. Throughout, General Ward stressed that AFRICOM represented not the "militarization" of Africa but a serious and important effort by the U.S. to make its engagement with the nations of Africa security and humanitarian issues more effective. He
solicited Spanish views and heard that, while Spain"s historical interest in North Africa has not diminished, its interest sub-Saharan Africa is growing rapidly. The Spanish response to General Ward"s briefings on AFRICOM was very positive and indicated a strong willingness to work
cooperatively with the new command. End summary.

What AFRICOM Is and Is Not
--------------------------

2. (C) In all of his meetings, General Ward stressed that AFRICOM was not about the militarization of Africa. Security assistance activities with many African nations were already underway and had been for some time. There were already Offices of Security Cooperation in many African countries. The U.S. was heavily engaged in humanitarian and development efforts on the continent. AFRICOM"s role was to bring
greater focus to existing security assistance programs and enhance the ability of the U.S. military to support USG efforts across the board in Africa. He explained that AFRICOM would be combining functions presently performed by EUCOM, CENTCOM, and PACOM. The change was less in what the U.S. did than in how it was done. AFRICOM had a construct that was inclusive of a large number of civilian agencies (including the Departments of Treasury and Commerce and USAID) and this would increase the command"s awareness and understanding of what other agencies were doing to execute U.S. policy in Africa. The large number of civilians assigned to AFRICOM were not simply liaison officers, but integral members of the command. AFRICOM"s role was not to take over those activities but to support them effectively. General Ward noted that AFRICOM had two deputy commanders, a flag officer for military operations and a Department of State former ambassador to handle civil and humanitarian affairs.

3. (C) General Ward stressed to all his Spanish interlocutors that AFRICOM wanted to avoid conflicting with other international actors and donors. General Ward said AFRICOM also wanted to reinforce positive European engagement with Africa, not replace it. AFRICOM wanted to support and complement what others were doing. AFRICOM meant Africa would be getting added focus from the U.S. and over time that would make a positive difference to Africa and foster stability on the continent. General Ward stressed his interest in Spanish views and the importance of Spanish cooperation. He asked that Spain continue the dialogue with the U.S. on Africa.

4. (C) General Ward said the terrorism threat in Africa was very real. Al Qaida made no secret of its aims against the west. He noted AFRICOM would play an important role in helping the states of the Sahel develop the capacity to face these threats. He explained that AFRICOM had a
multi-disciplinary construct that would facilitate coordination with other USG agencies as well as international partners working in Africa. General Ward commended Spain for the participation of its naval personnel in Africa Partnership Station activities. He noted the Operation Enduring Freedom - Trans-Sahara components of the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership would pass from EUCOM to AFRICOM. General Ward noted U.S. interest in tracking the movements of foreign fighters via the Sahel.

5. (C) The Spanish were interested in the basing issue, but General Ward made clear that his priority is standing up his headquarters and his command. The question of AFRICOM"s permanent home was one for the future.

Chief of Defense
----------------

6. (C) Spanish Chief of Defense General Felix Sanz was quick to tell Ambassador Aguirre and General Ward that he needed no convincing: he was already a strong supporter of AFRICOM. He said he had confidence in U.S. undertakings and valued his long association with the U.S. military. Sanz said AFRICOM"s success would be Spain"s success. He noted an appreciation for the comprehensive approach AFRICOM was taking, beyond the strictly military to military, and the strong civilian component within the command.

7. (C) Sanz said he was trying to educate the political levels of the government and welcomed any information AFRICOM could provide to assist him in that effort. He said he would report on General Ward"s visit, using that as yet another opportunity to remind senior civilian leaders of what AFRICOM meant for Spain. He urged General Ward to stay in close contact. He said the Spanish military would be there for
AFRICOM, subject of course to the policy direction of the political leadership. Sanz noted Spain"s long historical association with North Africa (he recounted that a few years ago three of the four members of Spain"s Joint Chiefs of Staff were born in Africa), but he also stressed Spain"s growing interest in Africa as a whole, triggered in part by
illegal immigration to the Canary Islands. Sanz said no other area of the world affected Spanish interests more than Africa.

8. (C) Sanz urged General Ward to be stubborn in building an understanding of and support for AFRICOM"s mission. He noted there were political factors that could not be ignored, but insisted the key was to be persistent and keep explaining the positive goals of AFRICOM. He predicted those in Spain who understood the problems of Africa would be supportive. Sanz also suggested stressing to political interlocutors the benefits to Spain of AFRICOM. He suggested that in terms of Spanish involvement, a modest start would give people a chance to become accustomed to the idea.

Secretary General of the Presidency
-----------------------------------

9. (C) Secretary General of the Presidency Bernardino Leon spent nearly 90 minutes with General Ward and talked extensively about Spanish views on Africa. Leon said Spain worked closely with Algeria and Morocco and, like the U.S., was very concerned about the movement of foreign fighters in the Maghreb. Leon said although the date had not been announced, President Zapatero would travel to Morocco July 7.

10. (C) On Western Sahara, Leon said Algeria had rebuffed a Moroccan proposal to open the border. The excuse was concern
over Western Sahara but Leon doubted this. He suspected Algeria remained unhappy over what they regarded as Morocco"s unhelpful attitude during Algeria"s civil war. Leon said it was time for Algeria to accept Morocco"s apology and open theborder. He said Spain had proposed a joint energy project which Algeria had not yet opposed although Leon noted an Algerian tendency to raise objections at the last moment andto use Western Sahara as an excuse. Leon said Algeria was aware Morocco would never leave Western Sahara. Algeria was simply trying to make things more complicated for Morocco and use the issue as leverage on other matters. Leon noted five percent of Morocco"s GDP was tied up in Western Sahara. He predicted current talks would fail but said he did not expect a military response from Polisario.

11. (C) Leon noted sub-Saharan Africa was becoming a very important of Spain"s national security concerns and presented multiple complex challenges. He said Spain was especially concerned about the Sahel which he described as a line running from troubled states such as Somalia and Sudan all the way across to the Canary Islands. He noted Spain had recently opened new embassies in Mali, Niger, and Sudan.
Leon stated Spain was working on an updated (2008-2012) version of its Plan Africa for the sub-Sahara. He also said the Foreign Ministry was elevating sub-Saharan Africa to a full director generalship (until recently it had been handled by a sub-DG under a DG also responsible for North Africa and the Middle East) and that Spanish aid for the region had multiplied five times since 2004 (approaching one billion
euros).

12. (C) Leon predicted President Zapatero would travel often to sub-Saharan Africa in his second term. He also noted Spain planned to organize a summit with the Western African states and would be open to U.S. participation or observation. Leon said his personal experience in Africa went back over many years and included postings in Liberia
and Zaire. He mentioned Spain"s deployment of troops to the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the current deployment of two cargo aircraft and support personnel to the EU mission in Chad. Leon said Spain was trying to organize a framework for cooperation in West Africa to help those countries confront the threat from organized crime. He said states such as Guinea-Bissau were weak and vulnerable to drug, arms, and alien traffickers. Leon noted Sudan was very complicated with the north-south problem unresolved and Darfur getting even more complicated. He opined that the current system of sanctions was ineffective given the attitude of China.

13. (C) Leon mentioned he had recently visited Chad. He said it was important to work with the AU, but he was pessimistic. He did not expect anything from the Libyans, and he suggested a need to find some way to work with the Chinese in Africa. He noted they were widely present on the continent but did not see many of the troublesome regimes as the West saw them.

14. (C) Leon predicted Mali and Niger could do well with the support of the international community. He noted Spain was trying to help and that the Ministry of Interior was engaging with counterparts there. He noted Spain had embassies and developmnt offices in both countries and was setting up a language institute in Bamako. He suggested the U.S. and Spain look at donor coordination and information sharing. Leon was optimistic about Ivory Coast, opining that Gbagbo was very intelligent and that the Ivory Coast was important to stability in the region. Leon said Spain was interested in helping in the region. He said Conakry Guinea had a good president but suffered from corruption. He noted Spain had seen a problem with merchant vessels leaving Conakry headed for the Canary Islands, and Spanish intelligence services were trying to keep an eye on the situation. He was even more critical of Guinea Bissau. He said he had visited and urged the president to fire the MOI, which he did, but Leon said everyone in the government was tainted to some degree by corruption. He noted the islands operated almost as independent states (he cited a French hotel with its own airstrip which operated without regard to the country"s
customs and immigration authorities). He said some of the islands had airstrips which were being used by South American drug traffickers. Spain was considering providing some job training, repairing a road to improve access to the main harbor and perhaps sending a patrol boat to be jointly manned by Spanish and local officials.

15. (C) Turning to Senegal, Mauritania, and the Gambia, Leon said Spain was working to improve their capacity. He said law enforcement cooperation with Senegal was good and noted Spain had helped set up a small command center connected to the Spanish authorities in the Canary Islands. Leon said the government in Mauritania was weak, and he worried terrorists might attempt to destabilize the country. He said Spain would probably send some security assistance trainers.

16. (C) With regard to Liberia and Sierra Leon, Leon noted Liberia used to produce rice for the entire region and the destruction of other crops more recently introduced might present an opportunity to reintroduce rice. He said Spain was studying an ECOWAS electricity project that would consist of funding a feasibility study for electric integration in
West Africa aimed at the rural population. He said the study would cost $10 to $11 million. He also mentioned some sub regional infrastructure projects such as repair of the Dakar-Bamako railway and the Bamako-Conakry road. He noted these projects would be very expensive and were not things Spain could do alone.

17. (C) Leon said Spain had developed good relations with Angola and Mozambique in the wake of Portugal"s withdrawal. He noted Spain"s interest in Equatorial Guinea, which he said had a good chance for progress thanks to its natural resources. He noted the last elections were a missed opportunity to create more space for the opposition. He said Spain was trying to convince the government of the need for reform and mentioned they had given the government of list of 27 political prisoners who should be released, most of whom had been set free. He noted the good cooperation between the U.S. and Spanish Embassies in Equatorial Guinea and suggested both countries should deliver a message on democracy.

Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
--------------------------------------

18. (C) Angel Lossada, the new number two in the Foreign Ministry, stressed that Africa was no longer a far away place to Spain. Thanks to globalization, terrorism, immigration, and organized crime -- not to mention the proximity of the Canary Islands -- sub-Saharan Africa was now on Spain"s doorstep. Engagement and investment was increasing. Lossada noted Spain had opened six new embassies in the region in
recent years, mainly in the Sahel. Development assistance was now approaching the one billion euro mark. Plan Africa was being continued out to 2012 and would provide coherency to Spain"s activities in sub-Saharan Africa.

19. (C) Lossada stressed the porosity of borders in Africa and the threat from Al Qaida in the Maghreb. He noted the engagement by the Ministry of Interior on law enforcement and security issues (e.g. Frontex, joint maritime patrols with some West African countries, etc.). Lossada identified lack of economic opportunity and good governance as key challenges and said Spain was trying to help address these problems. Lossada said Spain was trying to stem illegal immigration not
only by improving the law enforcement response but by working with source countries on creating more opportunity at home, directing remittances towards productive economy activity, etc. Lossada noted Spain"s recent contribution of two military transport aircraft and support personnel to the EU effort in Chad. Echoing what Leon had said, Lossada stressed that the Sahel was in effect a lateral highway into the
Middle East.

20. (C) Keying off General Ward"s remarks on the Africa Partnership Station, Lossada said he could see many avenues for cooperation in Africa. Lossada said he was certain the U.S. and Spain could find ways to mutually reinforce each other"s work in Africa.

Secretary General for Defense Policy
------------------------------------

21. (C) Secretary General for Defense Policy Luis Cuesta commended the comprehensive approach of AFRICOM and said Spain likewise was trying to take a broad vision of the continent. Cuesta likened AFRICOM to a provincial reconstruction team for Africa. He noted the objectives of
AFRICOM meshed well with Spain"s own interests in counter-terrorism and fighting drug trafficking and illegal immigration. As did all General Ward"s interlocutors, Cuesta stressed that Africa had become a priority for Spain. Cuesta said the objectives of AFRICOM were favorable to Spain"s interests in the region. He noted the increased Spanish diplomatic presence and increased aid.

22. (C) Cuesta noted the rise in illegal immigration to Spain from Africa and Spain"s efforts to stem that, in part by increasing security engagement with West Africa (Frontex, Operation Noble Sentinel, joint patrols, etc.). Cuesta also pointed to Spain"s efforts to support economic
development in the source countries, including job training both to encourage people to stay home and to ensure those coming to Spain via legal channels had the skills they needed to succeed. Cuesta mentioned technical assistance and training to police in Niger and Mali. He said Spain had offered military training in 18 African countries and had eight bilateral agreements on defense and was negotiating
another six. Cuesta also noted Spain"s involvement in EU and UN operations in Africa (e.g., Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, etc.). Cuesta mentioned Spain was leading an EU mission on security sector reform in Guinea Bissau. He noted Spain was offering training via its center for international demining.

23. (C) Cuesta said the Spanish view of AFRICOM would to a great extent be shaped by the views of the African countries with which Spain had close relations. He said Spanish observers in AFRICOM exercises and training evolutions would be a positive step. Cuesta suggested there might be an increase in operational tempo at Rota and Moron due to AFRICOM and assured General Ward that Spain was ready to support that in accordance with the bilateral Agreement on
Defense Cooperation, although he noted it would be difficult for Spain to participate in or support direct action missions in Africa without some stamp of international legitimacy such as the consent of the country in question or a UNSCR.

24. (C) Cuesta said transparency would be a key element for
success in terms of securing Spanish support for AFRICOM"s
activities. General Ward noted the Africa Partnership Station experience with Spain had been positive. He also mentioned involving Spain in Flintlock. General Ward said as AFRICOM becomes fully operational Spain should not expect changes except in the sense of more information and greater willingness to include Spain. General Ward said observers were welcomed but participants from Spain would be even better. He noted the Spanish who had participated in the Africa Partnership Station had contributed a great deal.

25. (C) Asked about what concerns he had heard expressed about AFRICOM, Cuesta said Spain had heard skepticism from the Sudanese and South Africans. Nevertheless, Cuesta said security force reform, security assistance, development aid, etc. was music to Spain"s ears and that was why General Ward"s visit was so important. Cuesta noted Africa was only 12 kilometers from Spain and said Spain had long watched the Maghreb closely but was now paying more attention to sub-Saharan Africa.

Spain Eager to Send Liaison Officer
-----------------------------------

26. (C) Both General Sanz and Luis Cuesta expressed strong
interest in sending a liaison officer to AFRICOM. Cuesta said he had mentioned this idea to the MOD (Note: As detailed in reftel, the MOD in turn mentioned the idea to Ambassador Aguirre during a June 10 breakfast. She also told the Ambassador Spanish public opinion would be critical in determining the level of GOS engagement with AFRICOM and said that while the GOS was interested in being a part of efforts
in Africa, much work remained to be done. She asked that the USG coordinate closely with Spain on next steps. End note). General Ward explained he would be very open to the possibility of a Spanish military liaison officer at AFRICOM once the command was prepared to receive liaison officers.

Somali Pirates
--------------

27. (C) Leon, Lossada, and Cuesta all stressed the problem of piracy off Somalia and cited the recent capture of a Spanish fishing vessel in April (and repeated that Spain was grateful for U.S. assistance in that instance). They indicated Spain was taking a serious look at a possible multinational response. Leon mentioned he had just returned from
Washington where he had discussed the idea with the NATO SYG. Leon hoped that with UNSCR 1816 it would be possible to organize an international response. Cuesta said Spain might be organizing a meeting for the defense and foreign ministries of the countries that had supported UNSCR 1816 to see what concrete action might be taken. Cuesta added that Spain might also try and work this issue via the EU. General Ward agreed piracy was a common threat. He noted the passage of the UNSCR 1816 had been a positive step. He acknowledge there could be opportunities for cooperative action but made clear that decisions regarding anti-piracy operations would be made on a political level.

Press
-----

28. (U) General Ward was interviewed by a journalist from leading Spanish daily El Pais and had the opportunity to make many of the same points he had made in his private meetings regarding the purpose of AFRICOM and its benefits to Spain and other countries with interests in the region. The article that resulted was straightforward, and we are sure will help demystify AFRICOM for many Spaniards.

Comment
-------

29. (C) General Ward"s visit to Spain was a resounding success from our point of view. He was able to meet with senior Spanish officials and reassure them about the purpose and vision of AFRICOM. In each case, he encountered a very serious and thoughtful response as well as a clear disposition to work with AFRICOM. General Ward conveyed very effectively a genuine interest in Spain"s views and a disposition to work cooperatively with our Spanish allies. We are convinced this visit and General Ward"s deft handling of his Spanish interlocutors will pay enormous dividends down the road as we try to coordinate or even combine U.S. and Spanish efforts in Africa or if we ever decide to base some portion of AFRICOM in Spain. We are extremely grateful that
General Ward committed so much time and effort here and look forward to a return visit at his earliest opportunity. 

AGUIRRE


WikiLeaks backlash: The first global cyber war has begun, claim hackers

As Julian Assange is held in solitary confinement at Wandsworth prison, the anonymous community of hacktivists takes to the cyber battlefields

Julian Assange
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Photograph: Lennart Preiss/AP
He is one of the newest recruits to Operation Payback. In a London bedroom, the 24-year-old computer hacker is preparing his weaponry for this week's battles in an evolving cyberwar. He is a self-styled defender of free speech, his weapon a laptop and his enemy the US corporations responsible for attacking the website WikiLeaks.
He had seen the flyers that began springing up on the web in mid-September. In chatrooms, on discussion boards and inboxes from Manchester to New York to Sydney the grinning face of a Guy Fawkes mask had appeared with a call to arms. Across the world a battalion of hackers was being summoned.
"Greetings, fellow anons," it said beneath the headline Operation Payback. Alongside were a series of software programs dubbed "our weapons of choice" and a stark message: people needed to show their "hatred".
Like most international conflicts, last week's internet war began over a relatively modest squabble, escalating in days into a global fight.
Before WikiLeaks, Operation Payback's initial target was America's recording industry, chosen for its prosecutions of music file downloaders. From those humble origins, Payback's anti-censorship, anti-copyright, freedom of speech manifesto would go viral, last week pitting an amorphous army of online hackers against the US government and some of the biggest corporations in the world.
Charles Dodd, a consultant to US government agencies on internet security, said: "[The hackers] attack from the shadows and they have no fear of retaliation. There are no rules of engagement in this kind of emerging warfare."
The battle now centres on Washington's fierce attempts to close down WikiLeaks and shut off the supply of confidential US government cables. By Thursday, the hacktivists were routinely attacking those who had targeted WikiLeaks, among them icons of the corporate world, credit card firms and some of the largest online companies. It seemed to be the first sustained clash between the established order and the organic, grassroots culture of the net.
But the clash has cast the spotlight wider, on the net's power to act as a thorn not only in the side of authoritarian regimes but western democracies, on our right to information and the responsibility of holding secrets. It has also asked profound questions over the role of the net itself. One blogger dubbed it the "first world information war".
At the heart of the conflict is the WikiLeaks founder, the enigmatic figure of Julian Assange – lionised by some as the Ned Kelly of the digital age for his continued defiance of a superpower, condemned by his US detractors as a threat to national security.
Calls for Assange to be extradited to the US to face charges of espionage will return this week. The counteroffensive by Operation Payback is likely to escalate.
The targets include the world's biggest online retailer, Amazon – already assaulted once for its decision to stop hosting WikiLeaks-related material – Washington, Scotland Yard and the websites of senior US politicians. There is talk of infecting Facebook, which last week removed a page used by pro-WikiLeaks hackers, with a virus that spreads from profile to profile causing it to crash. No one seems certain where the febrile cyber conflict will lead, only that it has just begun.
London
At 9.15am last Tuesday a thin, white-haired figure left the Frontline Club, the west London establishment dedicated to preserving freedom of speech, and voluntarily surrendered to police. After two weeks of newspaper revelations concerning countries from Korea to Nigeria, and figures such as Silvio Berlusconi and Prince Andrew, a warrant for Assange's arrest had just been received by British police. It was from Swedish prosecutors eager to question him on unrelated allegations of rape.
The response to WikiLeaks' cable release had been savage, particularly in the US. Mike Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor, said those who passed the secrets to Assange should be executed. Sarah Palin demanded Assange be hunted in the same way an al-Qaida operative would be pursued. The US attorney general Eric Holder ordered his officials to begin a criminal investigation into Assange with the intention of putting him on trial in the US. News of his arrest, even on unrelated charges, pleased the US authorities. "That sounds like good news to me," said Robert Gates, US secretary of defence.
Yet even as Assange prepared to appear in a London court last week, an unlikely alliance of defenders had begun plotting to turn on the forces circling WikiLeaks. They were beginning to attack Amazon, which had been persuaded to sever links with WikiLeaks by Joe Lieberman, who heads the US Senate's homeland security committee; they also hit every domain name system (DNS) that broke WikiLeaks.org's domain name: Mastercard, Visa and Paypal, which stopped facilitating donations to the site, and the Swiss post office which froze WikiLeaks' bank account.
Operation Payback was hitting back alongside a fledgling offshoot, Operation Avenge Assange, both operating under the Anonymous umbrella. These are a loose alliance of hackers united by a near-obsessive desire for information libertarianism who congregate on the website 4Chan.org.
The cyberwar did not only involve obvious symbols of authority, though. For days, from their darkened chatrooms, the Anonymous ones had been watching a hacker called the Jester who seemed to be co-ordinating a series of attacks on internet service providers hosting WikiLeaks. They had noticed the Jester's pro-censorship credentials, deducing he must be receiving help. Speculation mounted that the Jester was a shadowy conduit working at the behest of the US authorities. "We wondered who was really behind his anti-WikiLeaks agenda," said a source.
Attempts to railroad WikiLeaks off the net quickly failed. Removing its hosting servers has increased WikiLeaks' ability to stay online. More than 1,300 volunteer "mirror" sites, including the French newspaperLibération, have already surfaced to store the classified cables. Within days the WikiLeaks web content had spread across so many enclaves of the internet it was immune to attack by any single legal authority.
In some respects, WikiLeaks has never been safer or as aggressively defended. As Assange was remanded in custody and taken to Wandsworth jail, Anonymous vowed to "punish" the institutions that had axed links with the website under pressure from the US authorities. The websites of Visa, Mastercard and PayPal were brought down; so too the Swedish government's.
One Anonymous hacker said: "I've rambled on and on about the 'oncoming internet war' for years. I'm not saying I know how to win. But I am saying the war is on."
Stockholm
Unsurprisingly, the timing of Assange's arrest and aspects of Sweden's initial handling of the sexual allegations prompted his lawyer Mark Stephens to denounce the moves as politically motivated. A computer hacker himself, Assange, 39, achieved both instant notoriety and adulation when WikiLeaks published batches of damaging US files relating to the Afghan war in July. This fame led him to Stockholm a month later to deliver a lecture entitled: "Truth is the first casualty of war." It was a sellout. One leftwing commentator likened it to "having Mick Jagger in town".
That night – 14 August – Assange stayed with the conference organiser at her flat in Södermalm, a former working class area of the city centre that has become Stockholm's equivalent of London's Islington. Three days later, in keeping with his habit of regularly changing addresses, Assange stayed in Enköping, a town 100 miles from Stockholm, with another woman who had also attended his lecture on the importance of truth in a war zone.
Assange left Sweden on 18 August and the women went together to the police the next day. According to Claes Borgström, their lawyer, the women did not know each other before going to the police. Initially, he said, the women wanted some advice, but the police officer concluded a crime had been committed and contacted the duty public prosecutor.
In court last week Assange was alleged to have had sex with unlawful coercion with a woman who was asleep and to have sexually molested the other by having sex without a condom.
In Sweden, among the country's community of hackers and left-leaning political activists, the timing is viewed as coincidental rather than conspiratorial.
"The Americans are very lucky indeed that Assange screwed around in Sweden, a society which takes rape allegations very seriously,'' said Åsa Linderborg, culture editor of the leftwing Aftonbladet tabloid. Film-maker Bosse Lindquist, whose WikiLeaks investigation will be broadcast on Swedish TV tonight, and who has spent many hours with Assange over the past few months, said Assange's attitude to women did not seem in any way striking.
"If you look at the two prosecutors involved in investigating the rape allegations, they are not types you would imagine bowing to any kind of pressure from, say, the Swedish government or the United States.''
A senior civil servant, who requested anonymity, also dismissed allegations of political plotting against Assange, arguing that Swedish culture is often misunderstood. "Swedes do not have an iconoclastic tradition in which you build people up then demolish their reputations. Even when people are celebrities, we accept that they may have questionable private lives. Swedes are capable of seeing the advantages of WikiLeaks while conceding that Assange may have unsavoury morals between the sheets.''
Linderborg, though, says there is a widespread sense in Sweden that Assange's rise to fame fuelled his libido and ego.
"Plenty of women are attracted by his underdog status and the supposed danger of spending time with him. He has several women on the go at once. One person told me he screws more often than he eats,'' Linderborg said.
Of course, given the nature of the web, the allegations have triggered a series of attacks on both women's characters with lurid claims of "women who cry rape" and "bitches trying to send an innocent man to prison".
Operation Payback
Those monitoring the chatrooms used by Operation Payback say its hackers have set aside the sexual allegations, instead concentrating their efforts on amassing greater potency for the next phase of the WikLeaks fightback. The weapons deployed last week were "denial of service" attacks in which online computers are harnessed to jam target sites with mountains of requests for data, knocking them out of commission.
The initial attacks against the Swiss PostFinance required about 200 computers, according to one Anonymous source. Yet within a day hackers were able to recruit thousands more pro-WikiLeaks footsoldiers. By the time the Visa and Mastercard websites were disrupted last Wednesday, close to 3,000 computers were involved.
Anonymous leaders began distributing software tools to allow anyone with a computer to join Payback. So far more than 9,000 users in the US have downloaded the software; in second place is the UK with 3,000. Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, France, Spain, Poland, Russia and Australia follow with more than 1,000. The 11th country embroiled in the attacks is Sweden, where WikiLeaks's massive underground servers are housed, with 75 downloads.
Sean-Paul Correll, a cyber threat analyst at Panda Security, who has monitored Operation Payback since its conception, said it was impossible to "profile" those involved. "They are anonymous and they are everywhere," he said. "They have day jobs. They are adults and kids. It is just a bunch of people." Middle-class professional members working alongside self-styled anarchists.
Ostensibly, Anonymous is a 24-hour democracy run by whoever happens to be logged on; leaders emerge and disappear depending on the target that is being attacked and the whims of members. Correll said: "This group does not exist with some sort of hierarchy. It exists with a few organisers but these can change at any time. That gives the group great power in that it is impossible to trace and define. At the same time it is also a source of weakness as its actions can be unfocused."
Ideas are floated on internet bulletin boards, whose location moves daily to evade detection. Ultimately a proposal hits a democratic "tipping point" and action is taken.
A major test of Payback's mounting firepower will be Amazon, given the size of its servers. The attempt to attack the site last Thursday was half-hearted, but nevertheless audacious. Now sources estimate they would need between 30,000 and 40,000 computers to hurt Amazon and there is a growing feeling among hacktivists that it could happen. If it does, the retailer could lose millions of dollars during the Christmas season.
So far, though, most of the attacks have been principally designed to register protest rather than destabilise companies financially, opting for their public websites rather than their underlying infrastructure.
Two of the internet's most important social networking sites – Twitter and Facebook – are also becoming targets of elements within Anonymous.
Twitter upset hackers last week by removing the Anonymous account – which had 22,000 followers – amid speculation that it was preventing the term #wikileaks appearing on its trending topics. The Anonymous page on Facebook was removed for violating its conditions, a move that has similarly annoyed a cohort of hackers. Both Facebook and Twitter have won praise in recent years as outlets for free speech, yet both also harbour corporate aspirations that hinge on their ability to serve as advertising platforms for other companies.
Their use by Anonymous to direct people planning attacks has, according to many analysts, placed both in a difficult position. Facebook, which still has sites eulogising murderer Raoul Moat and Holocaust deniers, said it drew the line on groups that attack others, a bold move considering the site's WikiLeaks page boasts more than 1.3 million supporters. Any evidence that both sites yielded to US pressure and the gloves would be off. So too for any organisation that yields to American demands over WikiLeaks.
Evgeny Morozov, author of The Net Delusion, a book which argues the internet has failed to democraticise the world successfully, believes the attacks are already viewed by Washington "as striking at the very heart of the global economy".
Another emerging target in the weeks ahead is the US government itself. For a brief time last Tuesday, senate.gov – the website of every US senator – went down. Cyberguerillas claim it is a possible sign of things to come.
The future
The trajectory of the WikiLeaks controversy is almost impossible to predict. On Tuesday Assange will attend his next bail hearing. Although supporters have stumped up £180,000, it is expected bail will be refused, pending a full hearing of Sweden's extradition request. However his lawyer may also reveal fresh claims of US interference in the saga.
Regardless of the fate of its founder, WikiLeaks will continue releasing declassified cables. At the moment only several hundred of 250,000 cables have been publicised.
Analysts now describe the organisation's structure as a "networked enterprise", a phrase that has been used in the past in relation to al-Qaida.
For all the US attempts, it is clear the attacks on WikiLeaks have made minimal impact and are unlikely to affect the availability of the information that WikiLeaks has already leaked.
Meanwhile, Senator Lieberman has indicated that the New York Timesand other news organisations using the WikiLeaks cables may be investigated for breaking US espionage laws. At present, who will win the "world's first information war" remains unclear.
Morozov said: "There will be many more people from the CIA and NSA [National Security Agency] hanging out around them."
But the conflict increasingly seems likely to target the real profits of US corporations. Today a 24-year-old from London will ready his weapons for the battle ahead.

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