Turkish Company BNKC Violates the Arms Embargo in Libya – Al Marsad

A in-depth investigative report revealed details of the violation of the arms embargo by the Turkish company BNKC and its collusion with Turkish authorities.

“Fearing that the UN investigation might expose the Turkish government’s clandestine and illegal arms shipments, the authorities decided to simply impose an administrative penalty on BKNC for a false customs declaration instead of launching a criminal investigation. The administrative penalty took some pressure off and gave some cover for the Turkish authorities, who would then claim that they acted upon the UN intelligence when in fact they had sandbagged the real investigation and protected BKNC.” — Nordic Monitor

(LIBYA, 8 March 2021) – The Swedish Nordic Monitor, which focuses on Turkish affairs, confirmed in its recent report that the Turkish company BNKC was sanctioned in September 2020 because it worked as a supplier of weapons to the armed militias in Libya.

The building where the office of the Turkish company listed on the European Union sanctions lists is located.

The report said that “the company was first identified in a UN Panel of Experts report in December 2019 as a weapons supplier to Libyan factions. Misrata port authorities discovered a shipment of guns on January 7, 2019 during a search of a container offloaded from the MV Esperanza a week earlier. The 20,000 Ekol-Voltran blank firing pistols, convertible to real guns, were purchased by BKNC.”

“According to trade registry records filed on December 29, 2020, Nuri Ali Karabilgin, a 48-year-old customs consultant in Turkey’s central province of Konya, listed himself as the general manager of brokerage firm Bahriye Nur Karabilgin Cem (BKNC) Gümrükleme Gıda Silah Hizmetleri Dış Ticaret Şirketi.”

The commercial registration of the company is filed by BKNC.

Moreover, the report mentioned that “although BKNC was established on April 28, 2017 in Konya as a customs brokerage consultancy and food and weapons trading firm, it quickly expanded its international reach, purchasing pistols and sending them to Libya.”

According to the report, the company’s “activity in trading highly restricted goods such as weapons suggests it was protected by the authorities in Turkey. Not much was revealed in trade filings, either, which means it could very well be a shell company established for specific operations that were apparently sanctioned by Turkish intelligence agency MIT.”

The company’s capital was 500,000 Turkish lira (some $136,000 at the exchange rate in effect at the time) when it was first set up, according to records. Yet it somehow managed to purchase blank firing pistols from Istanbul-based Turkish manufacturer Voltran Av Silahlan Ve İnşaat Sanayi Ticaret Limited Şirketi (Voltran) for $160,000 (849,600 Turkish lira), meaning that it entered into a contract valued at far more than its paid-in capital.

“BKNC billed the shipment for $114,000, way below its cost, to a company named Brothers Company for International Trade Toys Shop, Liberty Shipping Logistic (LLC), which is located in Tunisia, not Libya,” read the report and added that this “means that this was not about trade and making a profit.”

The Turkish P-29 pistol, of which the Turkish company sent 20,000 to Libya, in violation of UN sanctions.

The report revealed that “Fearing that the UN investigation might expose the Turkish government’s clandestine and illegal arms shipments, the authorities decided to simply impose an administrative penalty on BKNC for a false customs declaration instead of launching a criminal investigation. The administrative penalty took some pressure off and gave some cover for the Turkish authorities, who would then claim that they acted upon the UN intelligence when in fact they had sandbagged the real investigation and protected BKNC.”

© ALMARSAD ENGLISH (2021)

Source: Nordic Monitor