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The Illegal Arms Trade – Iraq–Iran War 1980 – 1988 (Part 6)

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Part 6

I have decided to print an entire speech given by Gerald James, former Chairman of Astra, on his experiences with the British  Government, the Secret Service, key political figures and notorious illegal arms dealers.

You will note that there was also to have been another inquiry known as the Matrix Churchill Inquiry regarding the “Super Gun” and the transfer of high technology such as WMD´s and CBW¨s to Iraq as well as the current Chilcot Inquiry (Iraq Inquiry) both of which have turned out to be another gross cover-up.

Gerald James knew all the wheelings and dealings of the DTI, MoD,MI5/6,CIA and eventually fell victim to the fact that he knew too much which resulted in the demise of his company. He was witness to the inner workings of the illegal arms trade, extortionate salaries and overpriced contracts. He held one vital document which was page 6 of his companies spread sheet which revealed how the money was distributed around the inner circle and the involvement of the DTI, MI5/6, CIA and the British Government who eventually placed one of their own operatives to take control of Astra………that person was Stepahnus Adolphus Kock.

His speech may appear to be rather complex but if one studies each and every paragraph you will see just how involved the British Government, the US and many other countries were in promoting war and in supplying Iraq with extremely illegal weapons.

The speech was made at a Conference in  the Environmental Law Centre:

My experiences, the Scott Inquiry, the British Legal System

By Gerald Reaveley James

 I am reminded of the very appropriate quote from Edmund Burke (1729-97) “It is necessary only for the good man to do nothing for evil to triumph.”

I am most grateful to Dr Badsha for inviting me and honoured to make this address at this Conference of the Environmental Law Centre.

The Astra case and my case reflect much that has been to the fore in recent years in not only scandals around arms companies like Astra, Matrix Churchill, Ordtec, Forgemasters, Walter Somers, Ferranti and other companies like Polly Peck, BCCI and Maxwell but also in the Scott Inquiry, the BSE Inquiry and the Lloyds of London affair and other scandals. The underlying problem is secret unaccountable government which bypasses Parliament and how the law is administered in the UK, gives aid and succour to such a state of affairs. The most common device is the concealment of evidence and manipulation of cases. There is a tendency when challenged for those in authority to talk of conspiracy theories. My experience is that those who do so are usually part of the conspiracy.

My company Astra gave rise to much of the circumstances which created the Scott Inquiry, the Supergun revelations (we reported it first), the Aitken affair, the murder of Gerald Bull in Brussels in March 1990 and much else.

 Background note:

My name is Gerald Reaveley James. Until March 1990 and between 1980 and 1990 I was chairman of Astra Holdings PLC (“Astra”) which became a leading ammunition and weapons manufacturer. By the late 1980’s Astra had factories in the United States (9), Canada (2), Belgium (5), United Kingdom (5) and administrative headquarters in Washington Dc, Brussels and London and employed 4,000 personnel. The story of Astra is too long to recount here but a summary is contained in my book, “In the Public Interest” published by Little Brown UK hardback 1995, Warner paperback 1996, London. Astra became involved in covert weapons and ammunitions operations organised by MI5 and MI6 and the CIA, the MOD, DOD, FCO and the State Department and the DTI. To such an extent was Astra involved with its pricipal subsidiaries, Walters, Accudyne, Kilgore USA PRB Belgium, BMARC UK; in the covert trade manipulations of Foreign Policy.

In 1989/90, following a reappraisal of Foreign Policy in the light of the demise of the Cold War and changing circumstances in the Middle East, where it became apparent the US, UK and EEC had transferred Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical weapons technology as well as conventional weapons to countries like Iran and Iraq, and the discovery Pakistan had the atomic bomb, the whole covert network was reorganised. This involved the collapsing of companies like Astra, Ferranti/ISC, Polly Peck, BCCI, Maxwell Group etc and the prosecution of lesser fry Companies and their directors – companies like Matrix Churchill, BNJ, Ordtec, Euromac, SRC, Forgemasters, Walter Somers are examples. The directors of Astra were to a large extent ignorant of the full range of covert activities carried out in their name but aware of some of these activities and the likely destination of their goods. As however all operations were sanctioned by the DTI, MOD, FCO, and in the US by the DOD and the State Department and in Belgium by the Belgian Government, not too many questions were raised initially.

However, in late 1988 and 1989 it became clear to me as Chairmen that the clandestine operations far exceeded anything remotely sanctioned by the full Board and I set out to investigate in depth. I became aware that certain plants were used to secretly store and ship goods; that monies were being transferred to other operations without book records or board approval in secret commission payments; that our paper work and parallel bank accounts were being used to process arms shipments from major UK defence companies like British Aerospace, Royal Ordnance, GEC Marconi, Thorn EMI etc. A leading British Defence Journalist wrote a report which was largely kept secret which indicated £100m was stolen from the Export Credit Guarantee Department (“ECGD”) in a fictitious subcontract for propellant which BMARC, an Astra subsidiary, had secretly obtained in 1998 from Royal Ordnance.

I also became concerned about payments to and business with MI6/CIA front company Allivane which had occurred between 1983 and 1988 via Astra. Is also became clear that all our main operations were involved in covert operations in the USA Belgium and the UK, and that Astra, when it acquired these companies, had inherited a hard core of MI6, MI5, DIA agents who operated behind the back of the original directors and who treated them as “useful idiots”. All our main companies were involved with Space Research Corporation (“SRC”) and the late Dr Gerald Bull who was behind the Supergun and other secret projects which Astra companies were also involved in. In 1989 I realised we had a hugely dangerous individual on our main Board and the BMARC Board who was an MI6 agent.

This individual, Stepahnus Adolphus Kock had high level political connections to Thatcher, Hesletine, Younger, Hanley, etc as well as MI5 and MI6 connections. It is now clear to me that he was involved in the murder of Dr Gerald Bull in Brussels on 22nd march 1990 and Jonathan Moyle in Santiago, Chile on 31st March 1990. BMARC was the only company outside the Atomic Weapons research Establishment and Government Arms depots with the capability to store nuclear bombs like Redbeard and WE177.

Gerald Bull assasinated by Mossad with the help of Stepahnus Adolphus Kock who worked for MI5/6

By early 1990 my probing had become a major problem and a plot was hatched to remove me as Chairman shortly before the Supergun and other revelations and Bull’s murder. A new dummy board ld in reality by Kock with two MI6/MI5 stooges ran the company into the ground over the next two years. In order to explain away the destruction of the company with a £350m order book and a market capitalisation of £120m desperate attempts were made to find evidence of malpractice by the original directors. Gumbley, my Managing Director, who had been with Bull until an hour before he was shot had discussed with Bull suing UK Government and senior civil servants using Bull’s extensive knowledge of high level corruption and illegal operations. It had been agreed I would return with Gumbley to agree with lawyers how to proceed a week later. I had discussed such matters with Bull some six months previous but no further action had been taken. Gumbley was immediately framed up for corrupting an MOD official and jailed for 9 months and after desperately trying to find something on me and failing, Kock and MI6/MI5 decided to institute through Peter Lilley and the DTI a DTI Inquiry. Lilley was Secretary of state at the DTI at the time.

Peter Lilley MP one of the key players in illegal arms deals and major fraudster 

The DTI Inquiry lasted three years and cost £2.5m plus (as much as the Scott Inquiry). The announcement of the Inquiry and the misleading press statements issued by the DTI and Government ensured the downfall of Astra. Crooks and MI5, MI6, agents or informers were put in chare of Astra – Kock, Roy Barber FCA and Tony McCann. Barber and McCann whose managerial and industrial competence and experience were negligible paid themselves £330,000 and £280,000 pa respectively. Barber took £100,000 in the first month. Barber’s annual payment was more than I received in salary and expenses as Chairman over ten years while I built the company. PRB was sold off immediately for £3m to avoid embarrassing revelations. MI5, MI6 and MOD police and Customs launched 17 raids on Astra premises in order to steal any sales and other documentation incriminating Government. No new orders were obtained in spite of the Gulf War and the company ran on the £350m order book we had left for two years, before it was put into receivership on 2nd February 1992 on the eve of me giving evidence to the House of Commons Trade and Industry Select Committee re Supergun, Project Babylon and arms to Iraq (and Iran etc).

Press coverage was hue and adverse. This facilitated, as clearly city interests like Banks and Astra’s main shareholders 3i, Prudential and Clerical and medical cooperated with Government for their own interest and purposes against the interests of smaller shareholders ( a parallel with Lloyds techniques). Kock had a cover as a consultant in Midland Bank’s secret arms department, Midland and Industrial Trade Services (“MITS”). This was staffed by ex service officers, MI5, MI6, agents and intelligence affiliated bankers. Midland with the Bank of Boston were Astra’s main bankers and dominated by MI6 CIA agents. Kock was also said to be head of Group 13, the Government’s assassination and dirty tricks squad according to Richard John Rainey Unwin, a close associate of Knock himself who was a contract MI6 agent and Consultant to Astra. Kock and Unwin, with Martin Laing Construction, negotiated the £2bn Malaysian defence deal before George Younger, the Defence Secretary even knew of it.

George Younger devout Thatcherite and another key player

The MOD police arrested several of my colleagues, framed Grumbley up. I was subjected to harassment, burglaries; I was arrested by Customs, investigated by the Inland Revenue, subjected to surveillance, threats, bugging, telephone tapping (all documented), a DTI Inquiry which lasted 3 years and a DTI prosecution which lasted 4 years. In addition I had to give copious evidence to the Scott Inquiry over 4 years, 2 DTI Select Committees, Foreign Affairs Select Committee, Defence Select Committee, Public Accounts Select Committee, Public Services Select committee, Police (SOI), a huge law suit in the United States (Dooley case). My family suffered considerably, my two eldest sons army careers suffered, my youngest son’s education because of adverse publicity, my brother was killed in an accident never satisfactory explained which could have been intended for me.

Part 7 will be the final part of this current series  and clearly show just how hypocritical and two faced all our respective  governments have been. It has  shown the past and current  illegal arms trade that existed and the involvement of our own current Prime Minister, David Cameron, Sir Kenneth Warren, Peter Lilley MP, Lord Hazeltine and many others………not forgetting and the late Dr. David Kelly. 

Finally what is so ironic is the many illegal arms inquiries that have taken place i.e. Matrix Churchill, Scott Inquiry and the current Chilcot Inquiry (Iraq inquiry) all of which have been totally “White Washed” and all to no avail!!

A  Peter Eyre – Middle East Consultant – 21/9/2012


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Written by Peter Eyre

September 21, 2012 at 09:57

Posted in News

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2 Responses

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  1. satyrikon

    September 21, 2012 at 11:19

  2. Heya i am for the first time here. I found this board and
    I find It really useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and help others like you helped me.


    October 14, 2012 at 06:44

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