Wednesday, January 20, 2010

EIR calls Alberto Herreros a "gun runner"

Alberto Prado Herreros, the gun-runner

EIR's investigation has determined that Alberto Prado Herreros is operating in close association with Harari to set up the covert weapons supply into Central Africa. Herreros, a longtime weapons- and drug-trafficker, has been part of the Harari network since the 1970s, and is often characterized as the Hispanic rendition of Harari; Herreros and Harari are, in fact, cousins.

Herreros operates through Lomax International Inc., in Miami, Florida. Lomax markets eastern European weapons, particularly from Poland and Bulgaria. Lomax is also an agent for the Bulgarian arms manufacturer, the Arsenal Co., which is notorious for supplying weapons to all sides in several of Africa's civil wars and conflicts. Arsenal Co. produces everything from AK-47s to heavy artillery, and sells every type of munition, including anti-personnel mines, which continue to kill civilians long after fighting has ended.

According to the CIA Inspector General's report, Herreros was one of the "prime contractors" for the Contra supply operation. He and Michael Palmer operated through two companies--Vortex Air International and Universal Air Equipment Leasing, Inc.

The CIA IG report, in the section on "Pilots, companies and other individuals working for the companies used to support the Contra program," Subsection "Vortex/Universal," paragraph 858, reads: "On May 13, 1987, Customs responded to the CIA trace request. The Customs response indicated that Al Herreros, Vortex/Universal's president, was a suspected drug trafficker. Customs records reportedly indicated that Herreros `[was] believed [in 1985] to be engaged in smuggling narcotics via aircraft' and was doing business as Vortex Sales and Leasing, He was also reported to be associated with `documented smuggler' John Lett."

John Lett was a fixer for smuggling anything throughout Ibero-America, be it drugs or weapons. His services were often utilized by various national secret services, including the United States.

Paragraph 859 reads: "The DEA [Drug Enforcement Administration] and Customs trace responses also indicated that other employees of Vortex/Universal and the prime contractor--Michael Palmer, Joseph Haas, Alberto Prado Herreros, Maurico Letona, Martin Gomez, Donaldo Frixone and two pilots for the prime contractor--all of whom were affiliated with the CIA Contra support program, may have been involved in narcotics trafficking prior to their relationship with the agency."

Paragraph 864 of the report details their relationship to the State Department's Nicaraguan Humanitarian Assistance Office, and its director, Ambassador Duemling.

When the Contra story broke into the press, and the evidence of Contra drug-running mounted, these individuals came under pressure, but they were never forced to cease operations. According to the Florida State Corporate Registry, Vortex Air International, the official name of Herreros's company, was involuntarily dissolved on Nov. 14, 1986, only to be reinstated on Dec. 31, 1986.

The CIA report cites Herreros business partner Palmer as a drug trafficker and reportedly a target of three U.S. drug investigations in the 1980s; but he was also believed to have worked as an informant for the DEA. As recently as 1995, Palmer has been in business with a company called Direct Cargo, in partnership with Herreros, and based at the same address as the defunct Vortex.

On Jan. 21, 1998, Herreros founded Vortex II. On the same day Herreros founded his arms company, Lomax International, Inc. Herreros is also said to maintain a bank account on Willemstad Island, in the Netherlands Antilles under the corporate name of Lommex Investments Ltd.

Both Lomax International and Vortex are located at the same address: 8320 S.W. 83 Street, Miami, Florida, 333143. If anyone wishes to buy a consignment of Bulgarian AK-47 assault rifles, telephone orders can be made at (305) 596-0657.

Lest anyone wonder how Herreros can continue for almost three decades, despite these allegations of illegal activities, the Florida Corporate Registry reveals that Mr. Herreros might have some powerful political friends. In the 1970s, Herreros was the registered agent of a company called Contran Corp. Ltd. (Florida). Contran Corp. is the holding company of Texas billionaire Harold C. Simmons. Although we do not mean to assert that Mr. Simmons is involved in any illegal activity, or that he figures in any way in this Central African operation, we find it fascinating that Simmons, a generous contributor to political campaigns, has helped finance the political campaigns of, among many others, Bush's arms-for drugs operative, would-be Senator Oliver North.

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