236301 11/24/2009 8:39 09BUCHAREST785 Embassy Bucharest UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY 09SECSTATE99581 VZCZCXYZ0002 PP RUEHWEB DE RUEHBM #0785/01 3280839 ZNR UUUUU ZZH P 240839Z NOV 09 FM AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0103 RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHINGTON DC RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC RUETIAA/DIRNSA FT GEORGE G MEADE MD RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC UNCLAS BUCHAREST 000785
DEPARTMENT FOR PM/DTCC RACHAEL-THERESE S. JOUBERT-LIN
E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: ETTC, KOMC, RO
SUBJECT: BLUE LANTERN BROKER INQUIRY: STEFAN MINOVICI - CASE NO. K-2197
REF: SECSTATE 00099581
1. (U) This message is a response to reftel request to verify the bona fides of registered broker Stefan Minovici - Case No. K-2197.
2. (SBU) POLOFF raised subject company, MIC & ASSOCIATES GRUP SRL, with Romanian authorities, including the National Export Control Agency (ANCEX) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that has the primary government oversight for licensing imports and exports of U.S. Munitions List (USML) items. POLOFF also interviewed principal officer Stefan Minovici and former MIC & ASSOCIATES principal officer Raluca Maftei, in an effort to verify bona fides of subject company. ANCEX official Gicu Pop indicated that subject company is not registered to act as an importer, exporter or broker of defense items in Romania. Pop further relayed that ANCEX has no record of subject company requesting authorization and licensing for trade operations with military items.
3. (SBU) During the telephone interview, Minovici claimed that he was unaware of the ANCEX licensing requirement, largely because he believed the major business that subject company conducts in Romania on behalf of Raytheon and ITT Defense was not under the authority of ANCEX. Subject company was not aware of the requirement until raised by post and subject company is currently in collaboration with post to prepare and submit an application to ANCEX in order to become compliant. Subject company will ensure that appropriate authorization and licenses are in place before conducting any future business in Romania.
4. (SBU) The following responds to questions raised in reftel: -- Confirm that this entity is in the business of brokering defense articles and defense services at the location(s) indicated under its legal name(s); ANSWER: Subject company has a physical office located at Calea Floreasca 91-111, Bucharest, Romania. Principal officer Stefan Minovici confirmed that subject company is in the business of brokering defense articles and defense services at the location under its legal name. However, ANCEX has no record of subject company requesting authorization and licensing for trade operations with military items. -- Determine whether this entity is authorized to conduct such activities in its home country, whether the entity has any criminal or other derogatory background, and whether Post has any information on its brokering or arms export activities that may involve proscribed entities such as countries under U.S. or international sanctions, or designated state sponsors of terrorism; ANSWER: ANCEX has no record of subject company requesting authorization and licensing for trade operations with military items. Post did not discover any evidence of a criminal or derogatory background; similarly there were no indications that subject company conducted brokering or arms export activities with entities such as countries under U.S. or international sanctions or designated state sponsors of terrorism. -- Will the brokering firm be handling or storing USML items on behalf of its clients? If so, does it have secure facilities and proper accounting and security procedures for handling sensitive USML items? ANSWER: No. -- When was the company established and who are its principals? How many employees? ANSWER: Website indicates that subject company was established in 1997, however, according to documentation provided by Principal Stefan Minovici, subject company was registered in Bucharest, Romania, beginning on 1 October 2005 as a Defense, National Security, and Marketing firm. Subject company has three employees: Stefan Minovici, Tatiana Tanase, and Constantin Degeratu (as of 1 December 2009). Principal officers are Minovici and Degeratu. -- What is the nature of its business and what other types of items does it handle? ANSWER: Subject company is primarily focused on defense, national security, country promotion, marketing, and trade. Subject company works with foreign governments, most recently to include the governments of Slovenia, Ukraine, Moldova, and Kazakhstan to promote the respective nation's image and trade. In addition to defense and national security advising, subject company is involved in the
energy and infrastructure industries. -- What types of organizations are among its typical clients and in what countries are they located? ANSWER: Website information lists a robust client list of both domestic and international clients. Listed clients were from Romania, Mexico, Moldova, Ukraine, and Slovenia. Website indicates having office locations in the United States, Romania, Italy, and Ukraine. Principal Stefan Minovice provided documentation establishing his client relationships with U.S. corporations Raytheon and ITT Defense, including a copy of a check paid to subject company for brokering services by Raytheon. -- Does the company understand the restrictions on USML items, especially the prohibition against unauthorized re-transfers and re-exports? ANSWER: Yes, but Principal Stefan Minovici indicated that subject firm does not generally deal with USML equipment; principal further assured that if business did begin to include USML materials, principal would seek embassy guidance on any issues that the firm was unsure about.
5. (U) Blue Lantern POC is Political Military Officer Timothy Peltier. Contact information: 40 (21) 200-3425; PeltierTE@state.gov (unclass); PeltierTE@state.sgov.gov (class). Alternate POC for questions related to above report is Political Officer Mark Oliver. Contact information: 40 (21) 200-3435; OliverMJ@state.gov (unclass); OliverMJ@state.sgov.gov (class).