Letter: Arms loophole
Tuesday 10 November 1998
First, that Sandline was able to transfer arms from eastern Europe (Bulgaria) to Sierra Leone demonstrates the complete absence of effective controls on operations of UK-based arms brokering agents. The government White Paper on Strategic Export Controls (produced in response to the Scott report) proposes to make it an offence for any UK person to participate in the brokering or trafficking of arms in contravention of UN, EU, OSCE or national arms embargoes. However, this would not prevent a UK person arranging the transfer of arms to sensitive destinations situated in regions of conflict but which are not the subject of an embargo.
Second, the allegation by Col Spicer that he was encouraged by Foreign Office officials to lie and claim that the helicopter gun and night vision equipment that he wished to export from the UK was for use by a mining company shows the ease with which existing end-use certification provisions can be circumvented. The UK currently has no formal procedures for verifying the authenticity of end-use certification. Nor are there provisions for following up arms, once exported, to ensure they have remained with their stated end-user.
Strengthening the White Paper on Strategic Export Controls by closing these loopholes would help prevent a repetition of such incidents.
Grace Dent on TVtv
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
‘Remember the attackers are a cold-blooded, crazy minority’, says Blek le Rat
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 2 Mother of newborn Baby No 59 trapped in sewer pipe told Chinese police she 'heard crying' when she raised alarm
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 This crazy skiing video will leave you feeling queasy
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
Alfred Hitchcock's unseen Holocaust documentary to be screened
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Photographer Matt Lankes' portraits of the cast of Boyhood influenced the film's storyline
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks