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Re: Query from The New Yorker Nicholas Schmidle ...

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Re: Query from The New Yorker


Nicholas Schmidle <nickschmidle@gmail.com> Chichakli R <chichakli@yandex.ru> 17 . 18:12

Thanks Richard, Again, I cannot stress how grateful I am for your help. It has gone a long way towards making the article better and certainly more accurate. A few follow up queries:

1. Victor was the owner of Aircess Holding and which was managed by Michael Herridine who was effectively the manager of he fleet and,
unsurprisingly, the person in-charge of the creation of Equatorial Guinea Aircraft registry, and before that he was also the man in charge of the Liberian Registry. Victor had no idea about how, where, an why the aircraft were registered wherever they were. That was Michael's responsibility. Herredine is an old and highly skilled aviation consultant and he was having a all the fun managing the fleet of Victor and drawing the company strategy as you can see in the minutes of Aircess Holding. Herredine received substantial amounts of money for his services from Victor.

Okay, so in 1998, when Air Cess splits, Viktor takes 14 planes, Sergei takes 5 and gives him $1.1 million. Do we know why they split the company? I knew that Viktor had moved to South Africa but was told (by him and others) that he returned to the UAE after, among other things, his home in Johannesburg was broken into. Either way, there were now two Air Cess companies after 1998, the Viktor-owned and Herridine-run one, and Sergeis? Do you stay in touch with Herridine by chance?
3- Incorrect. Since before the split was completed Victor had already moved with his family to South Africa, his house and his office were both located in the nice area of Sandhurst in Johannesburg. For your note, Sergey and Victor are not alike at all and it is impossible, that is impossible for them to live together, and perhaps that is why they never did. 4- I do have hat it I think, but; unfortunately I cannot access my repository now.

When might you be able to access that and perhaps the magazine?
5- Airbas transported plenty of goods and people for the US government in the Middle East, North Africa, and Afghanistan. Airbas was not the direct contractor but rather a sub-contractor. Concerning the AN-12, I do not recall the exact date, but I think it was banned first from Bagram about 2003

Thanks. Was Airbas subcontracting for the US into Afghanistan immediately after 9/11? And transporting what sorts of things?
6- You seem to have incorrect information in this area, so here is the regrouping of matters: Airbas went out of business before OFAC sanctions. The sanctions are dated 26/April/2005 and Airbas was liquidated in 2004 after it was unofficially sanctioned by the US government. The unofficial sanctions came in the form of refusing to issue permission to fly to Iraq and Afghanistan, among other US military operations, and moreover, refusing to provide fuel. The company became insolvent in 2004 leading to the liquidation of the fleet. Airbas filed its final tax return in 2004 and received a refund of about $20,000 for the million of losses it incurred due to the unlawful extrajudicial targeting.

Thanks. So Airbas was liquidated after the 2004 Liberia executive order? Then which company was the one subcontracting in Iraq at the time of the sanctions? Thanks again, Nicholas

17.02.2012, 00:56, "Nicholas Schmidle" <nickschmidle@gmail.com>:


Thanks Richard, This is super helpful. Do you expect to be home within the next five or so days? Were going to print around that time and would love to include the air cargo reference, though I cant find any other citation and it would be super helpful to glance at a copy of the magazine. So to make sure I fully understand: 1. Viktor continued to own Air Cess Gibraltar and Air Cess Equatorial Guinea after they split the company? 2. What did Viktor keep after this split? He told me in 1998 he had approximately 30 aircraft. So held on to everything besides the 3 IL18, 1 AN12, and 1 AN 26? 3. Even after this split and settlement, both Viktor and Sergei were living in the UAE? Sharing an office? 4. If you have a copy of that bank transfer to Ward, that would be great. Thanks! 5. The website says that all Airbas contracts were with the US government in the Middle East. How long had the AN 12 been flying in Afghanistan before it was banned? 6. After the OFAC sanctions came out, what happened to all of these planes? And I think wed talked about this earlier, re: the US government canceling your contract and fuel card, do you recall how much money that contract was worth? And what all

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04-Mar-12 11:47 AM

Re: Query from The New Yorker Nicholas Schmidle ...

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were you delivering to Iraq? Thanks! Best, Nicholas

From: Chichakli R <chichakli@yandex.ru> Date: Fri, 17 Feb 2012 00:41:06 +0400 To: Nicholas Schmidle <nickschmidle@gmail.com> Subject: Re: Query from The New Yorker
Good day: Thank you for your message. Concerning the magazine, I am still on the road. The detail about Aircess is all listed here: http://aircess.com/Chart_of_Existence.htm At the split, Sergey kept the company in UAE operating with 3 IL-18, one AN-12, and one AN-26 and paid Victot $1.1 million in setlement. The amount owed to Victor was sent to Diedre Ward in payment for Victor purchase of Metavia Airline in South Africa. D. ward became the manager of all of Victor businesses from 1998 and was the person in charge of the entire operation (I wonder why OFAC did not put her under sanctions?) The 1.1 million went to Ward from UAE in 2 bank transfer via Standard Chartered Bank in Sharjah. Perhaps I may have a copy of the bank wire. Airbas was formed in Texas in June 2002, the details can be found at www.airbas.net Sorry that the site looks terrible as it been hacked over and again as it seems as somebody is very keen on keeping the facts from being seen. I will try to fix the site when I get back but the information is still there.. (try to highlight the page and you will see the text; however, the documents and pictures are still there) As to Irbis, Airbas entered into an agreement with Irbis for code sharing in order to be able to operate in UAE where Irbis had a base but Airbas did not (This is an aviation technical issues related to rights of conducting operations, taking local cargo and passengers, etc) This agreement enabled Airbas to operate from UAE immediately using Irbis code and base of operation. Irbis never worked for the US government, simply because it did not have any aircraft - Airbas did. Airbas was started by me originally and later in 2003 Sergey came to the US and we created the partner ship as 50/50 between me and Sergey Bout, the lawyer who drafted the agreement was Victoria Manhatton from Richardson Texas. The assets of the partnership derrived from, Sergey placed his IL-18s and the AN-12 and AN-26 in the operation along with the assets of his UAE offices, equip., etc. and I contributed the Boeing 727s which were the backbone of the operation after the US banned the AN-12 from flying to Afghanistan. Hope that help Sincerely Richard

16.02.2012, 18:51, "Nicholas Schmidle" <nickschmidle@gmail.com>:


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04-Mar-12 11:47 AM

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