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CAB029 / Zambia / SURVEILLANCE REPORT ON WESOC ACTIVITIES

SURVEILLANCE REPORT ON WESOC ACTIVITIES

¶1. (C) SUMMARY: Post is surveillance report from field agents in Zambia, detailing recent activities by the West Siberian Oil Corporation (WESOC). END SUMMARY.

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CONSTRUCTION PROJECT
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¶2. (SBU) In September, the West Siberian Oil Company (WESOC) broke ground on a several new buildings located to the east of Meheba in the Northwestern Province of Zambia. WESOC is an oil and mining company based in the US but with ties to several countries, mostly in Russia. According to permits filed with the Meheba City Development Department and the Ministry of Works and Supply (Ref 226A and 226B), the new structures are mining compounds used for storing, processing, and exporting of copper, cobalt, selenium, and silver.

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CONNECTION TO MACABA
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¶3. (C) Most noticeable to agents tracking the construction sites wasn’t what occurred but what did not occur. Specifically, that WESOC was able to proceed with building plans with no interference from corrupt government officials, militias, or gangs. Never before has a foreign company been able to set up shop in the mining provinces of Zambia without paying exorbitant bribes to local (and often federal) police as well as warlords. While no direct communication has been recorded between WESOC employees and such gangs, we can assume that because warlord Dede Macaba (Ref. CAB020) controls the area, a deal has been struck between the two groups.

¶4. (C) Originally from Angola, Dede Macaba fled across the border to Zambia when being pursued for war crimes. Since arriving in Zambia, Macaba has taken control of several refugee camps, using violence to control numerous roads to mines along the border. In addition, authorities at INTERPOL believe Macaba has ties to several high-level weapons smugglers based in Russia and Ukraine.

¶5. (C) The specific deal that exists between Macaba and WESOC is currently unknown. It may be a typical payoff but analysts have noted several additional issues to consider. For one, the submitted blueprints for the structures are not matching up to what is being constructed in many cases. While still in progress, inconsistencies in measurements, facility features, and temperature control systems would suggest that the buildings are being prepared for something else in addition to mining. Whether that purpose is felonious remains to be seen.

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COMMENTS
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¶6. (C) Agents will continue close observation on the WESOC construction projects, particularly the connection with Dede Macaba. The outcome of such a relationship has a high potential to be devastating to the region. At best, the two groups will have a falling out, resulting in bloodshed for WESOC. At worst, there is a much larger deal in place, involving large-scale smuggling. The common ties both factions share with Russia must be explored immediately. END COMMENT.

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