Jeffrey LewisKhan Network Remained Active in 2004

The AQ Khan network attempted to purchase 60 metric tons of Russian aluminum tubes through a Swiss front company in March 2004, according to the Swiss Internal Security Report released by the Swiss Federal Police Office:

In 2004 the network specialised in nuclear technology belonging to the “father“ of the Pakistani atomic bomb, Dr. Adbul Qadeer Khan, was uncovered. Two attempts to export Russian aluminium pipes have been successfully prevented. In October the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland opened an investigation against several Swiss nationals suspected of violating legislation on dual-use goods and war material

In addition to publishing the report in the three official languages of Switzerland (French, German and Italian—none of which I speak), the Federal Police Office provides an English summary at the end of each version.

USA Today and AP picked up the story.

Here is the description in French:

Succès dans l’affaire Khan

Fedpol (SAP) a réussi à empêcher deux tentatives d’exportations au profit du réseau Khan. Au printemps 2004, fedpol (SAP) a été avisé qu’une firme néerlandaise tentait d’acquérir, par l’intermédiaire d’une société suisse, 60 tonnes de tubes d’aluminium russes, destinés à une entreprise de couverture des Laboratoires de recherches Khan (KRL). La société suisse en a informé fedpol (SAP). Les enquêtes ont révélé que plusieurs tentatives d’acquisition avaient été planifiées. Ainsi, une première livraison de 60 tonnes de tubes d’aluminium avait quitté la Russie fin février 2004. Cette marchandise était destinée à une autre entreprise pakistanaise et avait été achetée par une troisième société pakistanaise, qui entretenait des liens étroits avec la firme néerlandaise susmentionnée et les KRL. Elle avait été payée par une société britannique, et l’argent devait être remis par la société suisse au producteur russe. La livraison a finalement pu être interceptée à Dubaï, fin mars 2004 et n’est donc jamais arrivée au Pakistan.

Enquête en Suisse

En octobre, le MPC a ouvert une enquête pour infraction présumée à la loi sur le contrôle des biens et à la loi sur le matériel de guerre. Il s’agit d’un lien en Suisse établi dans le contexte large du réseau Kahn, dont le but est d’acquérir de la technologie nucléaire. Des procédures concernant la même affaire ont aussi été ouvertes en Allemagne et en Afrique du Sud.

[A reader has kindly offered a translation in the comments section.]

Comments

  1. Ferdinand (History)

    Success in the Khan case
    Fedpol has succeeded in thwarting two attempted exports bound for the Khan network. In the spring of 2004, fedpol learned that a Dutch firm was trying to acquire 60 tonnes of Russian aluminium tubes through a Swiss company. The shipment was destined for a concern acting as a cover for the KRL (Khan Research Laboratories). The Swiss company informed fedpol. Research revealed that multiple attempts of delivery had been planned. A first shipment of 60 tonnes had left Russia at the end of february 2004. It was destined for another Pakistani company and was bought by a third Pakistani firm with close ties to both the Dutch firm mentioned earlier and the KRL. It was payed for by a British company and the money was channeled through the Swiss company to the Russian supplier. The shipment was intercepted at the end of march 2004, so it would never reach Pakistan.

    Proceedings in Switzerland
    In october, the AG’s office brought action for suspected violation of the export and arms trade laws [actually: controlled goods and war material laws]. It concerns the Swiss link in the broader context of the Khan network, which seeks to acquire nuclear technology. Similar proceedings have also been opened in Germany and South-Africa.

    This translation isn’t perfect, but it should be better than what a translation engine can offer.

    Regarding the Dutch link: Khan worked at Urenco in the Netherlands before taking his knowledge back with him to Pakistan.

  2. RT

    This is another piece of evidence to support the hypothesis that the so called Khan network is actually a Pakistan government/military run network.

    The Bush administrations is trying to slay non-existent dragons in Iraq and Iran even as it rewards the biggest proliferating country with F-16s and other goodies.

    How long before we see another Bushie quote on “Iran’s violations?”

    No US administration has done more harm to non-proliferation than this one.

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