The Balkan Arms Trade campaigning website carried an article claiming that the UK suspected that almost 30 million Bosnian-made bullets sold to Saudi Arabia would end up being used in Yemen or elsewhere, but failed to warn Sarajevo before the shipment had flown, Balkan Investigative Reporting Network can reveal.  The deal was brought to the UK’s attention because 2 British-based brokers had requested – and were eventually refused – licences to mediate the Bosnia-Saudi deal. It says that the shipment that left Bosnia in November 2015 and January 2016 with the approval of Sarajevo matched the deal for which the UK refused brokering licences in terms of timing, quantity, origin, destination and type of ammunition – but the UK refusal came in March 2016 after around 14 months of deliberation, when it was already too late to halt the shipment and such applications are usually decided within 20 working days.  The article says that licences to Saudi Arabia are rarely rejected, making the UK’s decision all the more significant. An expert is quoted as saying that it “beggars belief” that London failed to share its suspicions with Sarajevo. UK’s Department for International Trade is reported as saying that this was the first case involving Saudi Arabia that London had refused.


Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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