Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Procurement: Prosecution, Not Profits

In tiny Macedonia, the head of military intelligence was recently arrested for participation in a gun running scheme. Eastern Europe's former communist nations have been the major source of illegal weapons since the early 1990s. It's no secret. But now it's not so easy to get away with stealing and selling weapons. The Macedonian official, and two military intelligence officers, were arrested after police stopped a truck, loaded with 300 new German MG-3 machine-guns. The truck, and the weapons, were headed for Bulgaria. The false paperwork accompanying the weapons was traced back to the military intelligence commander, who was trying to make some money on the side. The truckload of machine-guns was worth over half a million dollars on the black market. In the past, police would not have dared to interfere, and the guy who set up the scheme would have been protected by other politicians. No more. Increasingly, illegal weapons sales are leading to prosecutions, not profits.

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