President of the Autonomous Administration of Puntland (North-Eastern Somalia) Abdurrahman Mohamed Mohamuud known as Faroole hired an American lobbyist (The same lawyer of Sterling and Saracen)
President of the Autonomous Administration of Puntland (North-Eastern Somalia) Abdurrahman Mohamed Mohamuud known as Faroole hired an American lobbyist on security and anti-piracy issues.
In a letter dated 21 November 2011, Authorizing Stephen Heifetz, a partner in the firm Steptoe & Johnson LLP to represent Puntland interest in Washington. Heifetz duties will particularly be, to find funding to establish Puntland Maritime Police Force. On a document dated 7 November, from Heifetz promised to lob “at no cost” as far it dose not interfere with to interest of the customers. That latter includes a firm Sterling Corporate Services (SCS) that advises on matters with regards to counter-piracy issues” As agreed, if SCS interests ever come into conflict with the contractor’s internal affairs; Heifetz would immediately cease the representation. This appear to suggest that SCS may be interested in Faroole`s counter-piracy projects.
In that case, Heifetz provides Puntland with influential working partners in Washington. The former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) (1996-98), subsequently worked for the Department of Justice (1998-2000), before joining the private firm Wilmer Hale (2000-2005). He specialized in anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regulations, then joined the Department of Homeland Security (February 2006 to March 2010) as Deputy Assistant Secretary in charge of Policy Development. He was once in charge of Air and Maritime Cargo Screening, Aviation and Transportation Security, Visa Screening. He was also a member of the Think Tank Council on Foreign Relations.
Heifetz was not the first President Faroole`s lobbyist in the United States. 2009, Faroole hired Duane Morris to pursue to obtain American funding for Puntland. And last year, he took the services of The Moffett Group, owned by the former Democratic Congressman Toby Moffett, to persuade Conoco & Phillips, which had abandoned Oil Exploration in Somalia in 1991, to resume operations in Puntland.
The CEO of Market Evolution, a British company specialised in consumer market studies, Toby Constantine ,The firm Frontier Media Partners created by Constantine last year, was associated with the contract to set up a coastguard unit in Somalia inked last month between the TFG defence minister, Hussein Arab Essa, and the Kenya based security firm Halliday Finch International.
Halliday Finch International-This company will provide training and logistics support for these coastguards. It is headed by Sam Mattock, a British ex-serviceman who worked for Control Risks in Nigeria (from 2004 to 2006) and subsequently founded Halliday Finch International with Toby Constantine as one of the directors. Prior to that, in October 2011, Constantine had been appointed advisor to Abdirahman Mohamed Mohamud, known as Farole, the President of Puntland, the autonomous regional administration in the north east corner of Somalia, for the development of mineral and fishing resources. He won this contract in partnership with the Moffett Group, an American public relations company headed by the former Democrat congressman, Toby Moffett.
Sterling and Saracen have the same lawyer, Stephen Heifetz of the Washington-based law firm Steptoe & Johnson. In February 2011, Heifetz, who previously worked in the CIA’s legal department, negotiated the departure of Saracen with Matthew Bryden, the coordinator of the Urn’s monitoring group for Somalia. Heifetz also has a contract to represent the interests of the Puntland authorities in the US to the extent that the Province’s interests do not become adverse to Sterling Corporate Services interests, accords to the wording of his contract
A spokeswoman for the State Department said the United States government never approved Sterling`s activities.“We share the monitoring group`s concerns about the lack of transparency regarding the Saracen and Sterling Corporate Services` train-and-equip program for the Puntland Maritime Police Force, as well as the abuses alleged to have occurred during the training,” said Hilary Renner, a State Department spokeswoman, referring to the United Nations Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea, the investigative arm.
Now the UN Security Council. Notably wants Sterling/Saracen “designated” along with other companies and individuals in the opaque network connected to the Puntland operation, and subjected to “targeted measures”. These could include the freezing of assets, travel and trading bans, and exertion of pressure on member governments to frame prosecutions under anti-mercenary laws and violation of UN arms embargo. key individuals training the PMPF report directed and sent to Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri, chairman of the Security Council committee for Somalia.
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