Scrutiny of Arms Export Controls (2010): UK Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2008, Quarterly Reports for 2009, licensing policy and review of export control legislation - Committees on Arms Export Controls Contents

Annex 2: Letter from the Chair of the Committees to the Minister for Business and Regulatory Reform

I am writing on behalf of the Committees on Arms Export Controls to seek further information in connection with the recent Notice to Exporters 2010/03 dated 26 January 2010 and the recent report in the Independent, "Head of bomb detector company arrested in fraud investigation: Government announces ban on export of devices to Iraq and Afghanistan". This report claims that "hundreds of people have been killed in horrific bombings in Iraq after a British company supplied 'bogus' equipment which failed to detect explosive devices."

I would be grateful if you could provide the Committees with the following information:

  • Why were electro-statically powered explosive detectors not previously added to the list of dual-use goods subject to UK export control for strategic purposes?
  • Why will the controlled detectors only require a licence to be exported if they are being exported to Afghanistan or Iraq?
  • What other countries are these items currently being exported to?
  • What is your assessment of the damage that has been caused to persons and property by the Iraqi military's use of these detectors?

8 February 2010

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