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The Zurich company provided machines for arms deal from Chavez and Putin

And then the power goes out. Venezuela's population is starving, relief goods are blocked on the border, in the streets of Caracas, gangs, protests, low-beat –

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The Zurich company provided machines for arms deal from Chavez and Putin

And then the power goes out. Venezuela's population is starving, relief goods are blocked on the border, in the streets of Caracas, gangs, protests, low-beat – the once richest country in Latin America is in a historic crisis. Nobody likes shooting an armed conflict between President Nicolas Maduro and the Opposition to Juan Guaidó exclusive.

weapons there would be enough. Russia had upgraded the socialist state, after the United States in 2006, had imposed an Embargo against the Regime. Eleven billion dollars in Venezuela between 2005 and 2013 was according to the news Agency Tass, in Russian tanks, helicopters and a Kalashnikov factory.

Now it shows: the upgrade also benefited a Swiss company, the supplier in the case of one of the arms deals between Vladimir Putin and Hugo Chávez machines.

According to the information available to the Tamedia-Recherchedesk, were the machines to a value of several million francs for the new weapons factory, Russia, in the city of Maracay built. 25'000 AK-103 assault rifles to leave per year, the plant. In propaganda videos of the Venezuelan army first finished guns are to be seen; the official opening will be by the end of 2019.

The affected company will neither confirm nor deny that the machine guns are manufactured.

A Search around the business shows that the Swiss export insurance recognized the topicality of which in spite of warning signs. And it shows that not only the Export of war material, can make Switzerland problem – but also those of "ordinary" machines, when it comes to the defence sector.

17 Container, 200 tonnes of

On the 20. In September 2012, the container ship Cap San Nicolas has arrived in the port of the Venezuelan city of Puerto Cabello. On Board: 17 Container, filled with machines. Receiver: Venezuela's state-owned weapons forge Cavim. Sender: Russia's national arms exporter Rosoboronexport. Supplier: the company Galika AG, Volketswil ZH. The unloading employed ten men for two days and at a cost of 30000 US dollars. The bill, which is before this newspaper went to Galika.

arms exports to Venezuela are now banned. The EU has imposed in November 2017, an Embargo, and Switzerland withdrew in March 2018. But in 2012, Venezuela was not an ordinary export market. The country applied for the state Secretariat for economic Affairs Seco under Chavez as "very unstable"; it is assessed that the risk of an escalation as "significant and worrying". Therefore, we have restricted war material exports are strong, and since 2000, the supply of spare parts for the Marine approved, writes a Seco spokesperson.

"It can't be that Russia and Venezuela are working with Swiss participation in arms businesses and the Federal government knows nothing about it." the

Rosmarie Quadranti, national councillor and BDP group head

machine tools are not a war material. And they are also to be classified does not necessarily require a licence for Dual-Use goods, which can be both civil as well as military use. A machine, with the weapons parts manufacture, applies only as a "Dual Use" if it meets the technical criteria, for example, with a certain accuracy. The machines for the Cavim is not dropped to the extent known, including, were subject to a permit.

The Seco writes on request, you have never heard of the business.

So it is that Switzerland has restricted exports of arms to Venezuela because of the political situation greatly – but at the same time a shipment of machinery at the state Armory, making a large number of Kalashnikovs, was legal.

Nevertheless, the Seco had to know – and possibly also the Federal Council – of the Deal. Because: The Federal export risk insurance Serv securing the business.

"Politically sensitive"

The Serv covers exports of Swiss companies in risky countries. The question of the extent to which they may in the case of disputed transactions, engage, politically, there is always debate. Today, the rule is that The Serv needs to turn on in the case of exports "of particular concern" to the Seco and the Federal Council.

The Serv is writing to request that you go further: You put also "politically sensitive" transactions of the Secretariat of state to the Check. The Seco then decide whether the Federal Council was to turn it on. "If the Serv detects that a machine of the armour company, of an authoritarian state is to go with critical human rights situation, then clarify with the Seco, the licensing Situation and the "political sensitivity"".

That didn't happen but in the specific case. Serv didn't even notice that the machine went to a Venezuelan arms company. You do not have this recognized on the basis of the documents"", the spokeswoman. Therefore, we have examined "mainly to Russian buyers as a risk subject". And securing the business, without the Seco or the Federal Council to turn it on.

In the documentation the abbreviation Cavim appears. It stands for "Compañía Anónima Venezolana de Industrias Militares", a Venezuelan company in the military industry. Which is why the Arms of the Cavim was not detected, says the Serv.

Clearly, the insurance shall, however, to the current situation: "In the current Situation, the Serv would a business, with the end-users of machine tools, a state-owned arms company occurs, assure you." Direct transactions with Venezuelan buyers more ceiling since may of 2017.

the criticism of The policy

politicians, Serv't criticize that you saw the explosiveness of the deal. "It can't be that Russia and Venezuela are working with Swiss participation in arms businesses and the Federal government knows nothing of it," says BDP group leader Rosmarie Quadranti (ZH). "The Serv would have had to report this. There will need to sharpen the sensors, because zero tolerance must prevail."

FDP councillor Josef Dittli (UR) requires that you look at the affected Export now. "And if the goods control law in such cases, there is a gap, it is necessary to check the adjustment of the legal basis", the President of the Security Commission. Similar to the green national councillor Balthasar Glättli (ZH) comment: "You could commit companies to a notification to the Seco if you know that you can export Material for the manufacture of armaments."

at the same time, politicians are agreed that you should not exacerbate the export regime. Nobody wanted to make it difficult for the industry, the work, says the FDP man Dittli. "Most of the exports are no problem", says Glättli. "But such obvious problem not legally be allowed to cases."

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 19.03.2019, 21:59 PM

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