A company from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has purchased six helicopters and two boats to raid ships off Libya in a move to support Khalifa Haftar in his ongoing war on Tripoli, a UN panel report revealed, according to Anadolu Agency.
According to confidential letters by a Panel of Experts, under the Security Council's Libya Sanctions Committee, the sale of at least $18 million in military equipment was made through a Jordan-based company that was founded by Fulcrum Holding in the UAE.
Anadolu Agency added that a source familiar with the letters, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the committee got a tipoff in mid-January that the UAE was trying to fund a special team of mercenaries to back Haftar.
"The Fulcrum Holding set up the company allegedly to carry geographical researches and used it to purchase three Puma helicopters from South Africa. The helicopters were transported to Jordan and then to Libya." The report added, citing the source as saying that it was unclear if South Africa's Starlite Aviation company sold the helicopters or mediated the transportation process.
The UAE-based company also bought three French-built SA 341 attack helicopters from Gabon to deploy to Libya and two 20-person MRC1250 boats via Malta-based Sovereign Charterers for the mercenaries to use, according to Anadolu Agency.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported Friday that two Dubai-based companies sent 20 Western mercenaries to Libya to help Haftar forces seize Tripoli.
The source said the letter revealed 20-25 mercenaries went to Benghazi to receive the helicopters and boats, and the purchase of six helicopters and two boats were actually made to carry out raids on vessels off Libya, pull them to the coast and search them for military equipment.
Anadolu Agency said that against the risk of being noticed by satellite, the source said a logo of the Jordan-based company was embroidered on the helicopters and boats to give the impression they were doing "geographical researches."