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Official: Serbia blocks arms sale to Libya

Official: Serbia blocks arms sale to Libya

Serbia has blocked a large weapons sale to Libya because of fears it involves a company that is blacklisted by the United Nations for breaking an arms embargo, Serbia's economy minister said Wednesday.
Mladjan Dinkic said the Balkan country's secret service has stopped the sale of small arms and ammunition produced by two state-owned Serbian weapons factories that was worth about $50 million.
He said this was done because of suspicions that the deal was made through a Seychelles-based company that has been blacklisted by the U.N. for breaking an arms embargo imposed on Liberia during the African country's civil war. He said the company and its Serb owner are both blacklisted by the U.N. and banned from arms trading.
A U.N. report in 2003 had accused the company of shipping more than 5,000 rifles, 6,500 mines, 4,500 hand grenades and "enough bullets to kill the entire population of Liberia."
There was no immediate comment from Slobodan Tesic, who is cited by Serbian media as the owner of the arms dealing company formerly known as "Temex."
Hundreds of workers from the two weapons factories protested earlier this week in front of the government headquarters in Belgrade, demanding to know why the deal was being blocked even though Libya is not under a U.N. arms embargo.
Dinkic said the export was being prevented because of fears Serbia could again be blacklisted for illegal arms trading, as it was during the rule of late leader Slobodan Milosevic in the 1990s.


Updated : 2021-04-20 01:45 GMT+08:00