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Vitali Fishman – Double Deals in Turkmenistan and Iran
In our continuing series on the Exposé of the Israeli-Belarusian Arms Dealer, Vitali Fishman, a Senior Ranking Official from the Turkmenistan Ministry of Defense has confirmed that in October 2019, Mr. Fishman (under his Cyprus registered company ‘Gular Ltd. ) played a key role in a secret $153 Million USD Border Security contract that the Turkmenistan government awarded to a high tech Israeli defense contracting company. The contract which the Israeli security company reported in a news release at that time (/ir.elbitsystems.com/news-releases/news-release-details/elbit-systems-awarded-153-million-contract-provide-networked ) was awarded from a “country in South East Asia”. According to their website “ Under the contract, The Company will supply a networked multi-layered UAS solution, including more than a thousand THOR Multi-Rotor Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) mini-UAS, scores of Skylark LEX, Skylark 3 and Hermes 450 tactical UAS as well as Universal Ground Control Stations.” The Senior Ranking Official claimed that Turkmenistan was relying on Israeli expertise to protect its border with Iran and that the Turkmenistan Ministry of Defense had already lodged complaints about Mr. Fishman’s behavior to their Israeli counterparts. The Senior Official stated yesterday that “Vitali Fishman plays both sides of the fence and has tried to price gouge our government on the Israeli deal. We advised our counterparts at the Israeli company who have now taken internal remedial measures against Fishman. And there are rumors that Fishman is also dealing with Iran. This created an untenable for Fishman. We are not the first government to fall victim to his corrupt business practices. Fishman is now ‘persona non gratis’ with us.”
Vitali Fishman (Back row 3nd from right) seen here in a photo with senior officials of Turkmenistan’s Presidential Guard in December 2018
(For those readers who have not yet heard about Vitali Fishman, he is an international Arms Dealer under international investigation for illegal weapon sales and money laundering in Africa, Asia and Europe. As we reported last week, “Vitali Fishman was linked to the Credit Suisse-Mozambique ‘Debt Scandal’ and allegedly was the key ‘Bagman’ who gave bribes to the tune of millions of USD to senior Mozambique government officials…”.)
We were shocked to hear that Vitali Fishman (who is a Russian born Jew with Israeli and Belarusian citizenships) was even involved with arms sales to Iran, the arch enemy of the State of Israel. It seems that Vitali Fishman has had a behavioral pattern in the past, of angering several Ministries of Defense in many developing countries. In an article we wrote last week it was revealed that senior ranking officials at the Belarus Ministry of Defense had similar complaints as their Turkmenistan counter-parts, about Mr. Fishman, claiming that he had raised “ the ire of senior ranking Belarus military officials because he has bypassed the usual chain of command and had defense contracts approved without the prior knowledge of the Belarus Ministry of Defense.” (Not surprisingly the Belarusian’s not only complained bitterly about Fishman’s corruption and payment of bribes to senior officials but that he also illegally obtained Belarusian citizenship as Fishman is an Israeli national but under Belarus laws Duo-Nationality is not allowed. He was also accused of being a Russian “asset” by Belarus officials when documentation surfaced last week that in 2017 Fishman’s Cyprus registered company ‘Gular Ltd’. had transferred company shares to the ownership of senior officials at the state-owned Russian Defense Export Authority known in Russian as ‘ROSOBORONEXPORT’ in 2017).
An examination of Vitali Fishman’s business associates and friends in Turkmenistan offers a tantalizing view of ‘who’s who’ in Turkmenistan’s secretive authoritative regime. According to the Senior Official at the Turkmenistan Ministry of Defense, Mr. Fishman “has a close relationship with disgraced local businessman Charymuhammet Kulov”, who was arrested by Turkmenistan police in September 2019 on corruption and influence peddling charges. He was accused of paying bribes to senior government officials (all of whom have close relationships with Vitali Fishman) that have now been arrested by Turkmenistan security services over the past few months and/or have resigned for mysterious reasons. It was Mr. Kulov who apparently introduced Mr. Fishman to Mulikov Isgender Handurdyevich, Turkmenistan’s former Minister of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, who was also arrested for bribery in defense contracts awarded to Fishman’s company Gular Ltd. for the supply of small fire arms and other specialized weapons to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and was fired from his post by President Gurbangulis Berdimuhamedovas. Mr. Handurdyevich was also forced to confess to his crimes in a well-orchestrated appearance on Turkmenistan TV in December 2019. (Links to article on the arrest of Charymuhammet Kulov and Mulikov Isgender Handurdyevich: https://turkmen.news/news/v-ashhabade-arestovan-odin-iz-naibolee-vliyatelnyh-stolichnyh-predprinimatelej-chary-kulov/ and https://eurasianet.org/turkmenistan-interior-minister-resurfaces-in-handcuffs ).
Vitali Fishman’s company Gular Ltd. has also provided highly sensitive listening systems and, Counter Surveillance Counter Measure (‘ECM”) systems to Turkmenistan’s National Security Committee headed by Yalm Berdyev who Mr. Fishman has a close friendship with. The technical aspects of the contract were overseen by Allaberdiev Ovez Khadyrovich, former Deputy Director of the National Security Committee and head of its Department of Technologies. The Senior Ranking Official at the Turkmenistan Ministry of Defense also revealed that Vitali Fishman had personal and business relationships with other executive ranking officials including:
*Newly appointed Defense Minister Gundogdyev Begench Ataevich, who was formerly Commander of Turkmenistan’s Border Police. Mr. Ataevich has already awarded Vitali Fishman’s company Gular Ltd. with border control equipment and training when he was in his former position and is now negotiating with Mr. Fishman in his new position as Defense Minister again to assist Turkmenistan in Counter-Surveillance systems on its border with Iran
* Guichgeldy Khodzhaberdyeva – Former Chief of Turkmenistan’s Presidential Guard who was arrested in October 2019 at the same time of that the former Minister of Internal Affairs was arrested. It is alleged that Mr. Khodzhaberdyeva received bribes from Vitali Fishman to facilitate contracts and have direct access to persons working directly for President Gurbangulis Berdimuhamedovas.
* Major-General Myrat Islamovich Islamov former Chief of Turkmenistan’s State Border Guard Service (SBS). General Islamovich was summarily dismissed from his Position in late 2018 and reassigned to another position. Due to the shadowy world of Turkmenistan politics we were unable to confirm where General Islamov had been transferred. Our Senior Ranking Official source claims that General Islamovich was “duped” by Vitali Fishman on contracts that were awarded to Gular Ltd from the SBS and took responsibility for his actions, so he was not arrested.
* National Security Minister Yaylym Berdiyev. Mr. Berdiyev was terminated from his position by President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov in February this year (2020). The move surprised political pundit watchers on Turkmenistan as Berdiyev was a long-time trusted aid to the President. Berdiyev was a close friend and business associate of Vitali Fishman and was instrumental in securing several government weapon contracts on behalf of Mr. Fishman’s company, Gular limited. Mr. Berdiyev has since been arrested on bribery charges for illegal payments he received from Gular limited. (www.startribune.com/turkmenistan-s-leader-fires-his-longtime-security-chief/567842732/ ).
Vitali Fishman’s Double Dealing with Iran
The Turkmenistan Senior Defense Official stated that Vitali Fishman is “in partnership” with internationally known Russian Oligarch Moshe Kantor and had provided (under Russian approval) several X-55 Cruise Missiles to Iran, China and North Korea in the mid-2000’s. These missiles (which were developed in the 1970’s) were assets of the former Soviet Union’s Strategic Air Command based in Ukraine. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Ukraine negotiated the return of these cruise missiles and all nuclear assets back to Russia but in the fast moving and corrupt times of that era, numerous missiles and other strategic and tactical weapons and systems were not returned to Russia but instead were eventually sold off to the international black market. These deals were masterminded by Vitali Fishman in a highly secretive partnership he had with Mosh Kantor who is also President of the European Jewish Congress (EJC). Both men have extensive ties with the Russian government, and both also hold Israeli citizenship.
Moshe Kantor’s company, Acron is one of Russia’s largest producers in fertilizers and Mr. Kantor has ties to members of the Russian government.
While Mr. Kantor nurtures a high-profile reputation as an international Jewish philanthropist, he is, at the same time, a close business partner and mentor to Vitali Fishman a ruthless arms dealer who has no morals and will sell weapons to any client regardless of the country or consequences of civilian deaths caused by the weapons he provided.
While Moshe Cantor and Vitali Fishman were consolidating their influence with the Russians over the past decade, Fishman (as we reported above) in 2017 transferred shares of the ‘Gular Limited’ company (which he owns) to the ownership of senior officials at the state-owned Russian Defense Export Authority known in Russian as ‘ROSOBORONEXPORT’. Shortly after those share transfers were completed, Moshe Cantor bought out 30% of ‘Gular Limited’ from Vitali Fishman for a reported $150 Million USD.
A key person in Vitali Fishman and Moshe Cantor’s business dealings in Iran was Charymuhammet Kulov the former Turkmenistan business tycoon who (as noted earlier) was arrested in 2019 by Turkmenistan authorities. It was Mr. Kulov, who arranged a meeting in Ashgabat (Turkmenistan’s capital city) between Mr. Fishman and a senior representative of the Iranian ministry of defense on December 15, 2018. Although some details of the meeting are a closely guarded secret indications are that Mr. Fishman and Moshe Cantor were going to provide to the Iranians much needed small civilian vehicles such as jeeps and motorcycles that could be used to circumvent US sanctions on Iran by converting the vehicles to military standard after delivery to Iran. Included in the deal was an abundance of spare vehicle parts that the Iranians are desperate to have because of the crippling US sanctions. The political capital that both Fishman and Cantor received in Russia for breaking US backed sanctions gives both men immense prestige in the Kremlin cannot be underestimated; selling anything at all to Iran and breaking US sanctions is part and parcel of Russian governments’ policy of supporting Iran at the expense of US military, economic and political interests.
The facts emerging about Vitali Fishman paint a sinister picture of a man who has no morals and will go to any length and break any law in order to continue his career of providing arms and weapons to developing countries and those in conflict zones, by paying bribes to government officials , inflating prices and in most cases supplying sub-standard military and law enforcement equipment to countries like he did in Turkmenistan. And now that it has been revealed that Mr. Fishman and Mr. Cantor are selling military supplies to Iran, the stakes could never be higher- Turkmenistan is a strategic country for the United States because of its proximity to Iran and Russia and Mr. Fishman and Mr. Cantor are Israeli citizens selling restricted items to Iran. This could be a deadly combination for both men. Under Israeli law selling any goods to Iran is a very serious criminal offense. It is no wonder our sources have informed us that both men will not return to Israel for fear of arrest. The question now begs to be asked- when will Mr. Fishman and Mr. Cantor’s illegal business activities be stopped? Thanks to our articles (and others like them published by other media outlets), it may be sooner rather than later. But if Israel gets their hands on them first, then Vitali Fishman and Moshe Cantor may have their luxury lifestyles quickly changed into maximum-security prison cells in either Tel Aviv or Haifa. That would be a fitting end to these criminals because that is where they both belong.