Air France crash killed two prominent illegal arms foes
John Byrne – RAW STORY June 9, 2009
The puzzling crash of Air France’s Flight 447 killed two of the world’s “most prominent” illegal arms trade and international drug trafficking foes, according to a little-noticed report.
In a revelation sure to fuel conspiracy theories over the plane’s demise, the report reveals that two key figures in the never ending internecine battle against global arms and drug trafficking perished when the plane abruptly fell out of the sky. Both were particularly active in efforts to stem illegal arms trading in Latin America.
A 39-year Argentinian man, Pablo Dreyfus, was said to be a major player in an effort by Brazilian authorities to stop flow of arms to drug gangs in Rio. He was a consultant for Small Arms Survey, a Geneva-based thinktank.
Another consultant for Small Arms Survey also died in the crash, “Ronald Dreyer, a Swiss diplomat and co-ordinator of the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence who had worked with UN missions in El Salvador, Mozambique, Azerbaijan, Kosovo and Angola,” according to Scotland’s Sunday Herald.
“Both men were consultants at the Small Arms Survey, an independent think tank based at Geneva’s Graduate Institute of International Studies,” the Herald reported. “The Survey said on its website that Dryer had helped mobilise the support of more than 100 countries to the cause of disarmament and development.”
Dreyfus and Dreyer were reportedly traveling to Switzerland to “present the latest edition of the Small Arms Survey handbook, of which Dreyfus was a joint editor.”
Dreyfus advocated for “stringent labeling” of ammunition produced by weapons companies, the paper said. He averred that such labeling would greatly aid the tracking of arms acquired by criminals.
Dreyfus focused in particular on Brazilian arms firm Companhia Brasileira de Cartuchos which bought Germany’s Metallwerk Elisenhutte Nassau in 2007 and another company in the Czech Republic. He said CBC should “consider the risk that some of these exports end up, via diversions, feeding violence in Brazil.”
“When Rio agents smashed a cell of drug traffickers who had sourced their weapons from the tri-border area, Dreyfus noted its leaders were prominent businessmen living in apartments in the plush Rio suburbs of Ipanema and São Corrado,” the Herald noted.
Though the cause of the crash has not been conclusively determined, most experts have focused on speed sensors that may have affected the plane’s course when it was caught in severe thunderstorms.
“A spokesman for a pilots’ union says all Air France jets taking off now have been equipped with two new-generation speed sensors,” AP reported Tuesday. “The so-called Pitot tubes on the outside of an aircraft are under suspicion in the crash of Air France Flight 447 into the Atlantic Ocean.”
Last updated 12/06/2009