Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry sources adamantly denied yesterday that they were in any way involved in arms shipments to Somalia.
Spokesmen for both ministries were responding to news of the arrest in the U.S. of Hanoch Miller, an Israeli arms merchant, for allegedly illegal arms sales to Somalia, forging documents, money laundering and violating the UN arms embargo on Somalia.
A Defense Ministry spokesman said there is a ban on arms sales to Somalia and Miller did not have permission to sell arms there, and even if he had asked in Israel he would not have received such permission.
According to the charges brought against Miller at a Florida district court, he was arrested with an unnamed American partner for alleged involvement in the sale of hundreds of AK-47s to the government of Somaliland, a breakaway district in Somalia since 1991. Miller and his American partner allegedly organized arms shipments, which apparently included arms bought in Bosnia, and had planned to fly them from there in cargo planes to Somalia. The indictment also mentions a shipment that was sent from Panama. http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/israeli-indicted-in-u-s-for-smuggling-arms-to-somalia-1.298855