Thursday, September 10, 2009

Afghanistan - like Iraq, another magnet for corporate malfeasance

WMR has discovered from a private security company source who worked in Afghanistan additional details about RA International, the Dubai-based contractor for whom Terry Pearson, the British contractor who blew the whistle on lewd and homosexual-oriented drunken orgies engaged in by security guards at the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, worked until he was forced to resign or face being fired.

Pearson was a supervisor in Afghanistan. He worked under a sub-contract that RA International had at Camp Sullivan where the U.S. embassy guards worked under a State Department contract awarded to ArmorGroup North America, now owned by Wackenhut.

WMR's source described RA International, for whom he once worked, as a "total scam." RA International's Chairman is Soraya Narfeldt, a Lebanese citizen born to a Scottish father and a Lebanese/West African mother. Narfeldt's company has had contracts for UN peacekeeping operations in Sierra Leone, Chad, Uganda, and Darfur, and, under a U.S. government sub-contract from ArmorGroup, in Afghanistan. RA International is a member of the International Peace Operations Association (IPOA), the Washington lobbyist group that represents a number of private military contractors, including MPRI International, Dyncorp International, and Triple Canopy and seeks to expand their presence in U.S. and UN military operations around the world. Narfeldt's husband is a former UN official stationed in Afghanistan and she was named by Arabian Business Online 90th in its ranking of the hundred most influential Arabs.

WMR was told by the ex-RA International employee that the firm received sweetheart contracts with Dyncorp in Afghanistan, as well as the British embassy, the German military missions, and other clients. The former employee stated that RA International employees had French, German, and British security contractors in Kabul who were usually under the influence of prescription drugs and maintained a "hooker house" in Kabul.

As previously reported by WMR, press-ganged young Chinese females serve as prostitutes in Kabul and, against their wishes, double as Chinese intelligence agents. WMR has learned from our former RA International source that a British senior RA International official in Kabul abused the Chinese sex workers on a regular basis. WMR has also learned that RA International routinely supplied weapons to its employees in Afghanistan without the permission of the Afghan government, permitted routine drug use by its employees, purchased food from local Afghan suppliers instead of from parties already under contract, and failed to provide security for personnel or provide secure vehicles for their use. The only security provided was for food storage compounds.

Another senior RA International official in Kabul is known to live in Kabul's Light House brothel among Chinese prostitutes and is tied to a number of local Afghan crime gangs. Some members of President Hamid Karzai's government have complained about the presence of the prostitutes in Kabul and RA International's involvement with them with no response from the United States, Britain, or NATO.

The Department of State's Inspector General is reportedly investigating ArmorGroup's security guards and RA International claims to be cooperating in that investigation.