SRL Supply Solutions: fish suppliers to Somalia and Lebanon named in Yemen and Syria arms arms case

Though the name of this company appears to be Spanish, the firm has filed documents in Hong Kong and Ireland

The multinational firm listed in the following company database as SRL Supply Solutions – which, though the name might suggest Spanish ownership, does not appear to be directly controlled by a Spanish citizen – is currently a target of international pressure for its alleged role in weapon exports to and use of vessels in Lebanon that allegedly have fallen into the hands of groups fighting in Syria’s civil war.

The firm’s filings in jurisdictions like Dublin and Hong Kong do not appear to provide any detail about its own operations, with which one may be forgiven in light of the company’s involvement in Somalia in the early 2000s, after it took over the administration of an unnamed, city-owned fishing company whose sole asset at the time was a fleet of fishing boats and facilities on a private Somali island. The expropriation of the facilities and boats occurred between 2003 and 2004 and resulted in significant legal and reputational damage for the Somalia Enterprise Development Agency.

The firm has since been renamed (from Soc. SRL Ltd) and took over the administration of another vessel-ownership entity in Lebanon, which has been implicated in the trade of diesel and other oil products that have ended up in the hands of the Hezbollah-allied group Fatah al-Islam.

In 2007, the French military arrested Abu Ghadiya (killed in 2017), who was formally indicted by a French investigating judge for “facilitating illegal trafficking” between Lebanon and Iran, and concluded that he was responsible for the transfer of weaponry from the Lebanese ports of Tyre and Sidon to Qadiya on the Cote d’Azur, who was then allegedly in contact with Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah.

Despite these charges, Abu Ghadiya was arrested and thrown in solitary confinement after leading investigators to Beirut airport, where he found – unbeknownst to him – that the plane he intended to board had been rerouted and landed in Tehran, away from the Lebanese coastline. The files of the Lebanese airline that carried Abu Ghadiya from Beirut to Tehran – who – have not been found.

Though the name of this firm appears to be Spanish, the firm has filed documents in Hong Kong and Ireland, in response to the recently disclosed allegations. The company’s secretary, who was also identified in the Irish court documents, has expressed complete ignorance of the allegations.

The centrepoint of the allegation that this firm is involved in arms deals with Hezbollah is the routing of 120,000 mortar shells from Latakia to Beirut that subsequently fell into the hands of the Islamic State.

The disclosure of Latakia-to-Bilbao trucking traffic by the Syrian military through trucks transporting Russian RD-93 and F-7 rockets into Syria in 2014 generated anger throughout the Lebanese government and soured relations between Damascus and Beirut.

While Saudi Arabia and Russia have dominated foreign policy discussions about Syria, Lebanon has played a marginal role in the seven-year conflict, with Iran supporting the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria and Hezbollah responding to the call for arms from the Iranians and Russia.

In August 2015, Riyadh accused Hezbollah of firing the salvo of rockets into Riyadh targeting Saudi Arabia, which it describes as “an act of war”.

Leave a Comment