Sunday, August 12, 2007

Italy intercepts black market arms deal with Iraq

Italian police recently stumbled onto information related to the planned black market sale of more than 100,000 Russian-made automatic weapons to the Iraqi government, according to a story published by CBS News.

The deal was uncovered by Operation Parabellum, originally an anti-Mafia probe. Early last year, police searching airline baggage for smuggled drugs found helmets, bulletproof vests and a catalog of weapons. Police were eventually led to the details of a $40 million deal.

The Iraqi participants in the deal claimed in e-mails with Italian brokers that the purchase had the approval of the U.S. government. A U.S. spokesman in Baghdad denied that.

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Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website mafiahistory.us. Moderator of Mafia-related Yahoo discussion group. Author of Wrongly Executed? Coauthor of Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia and DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime. Contributor of American Mafia history to Australian-published Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime. Writer/co-writer of crime history articles for Informer, On the Spot Journal, Cigar City Magazine, Tampa Mafia Magazine.