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ForMin: Prague observes rules to prevent arms from going to IS

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Prague/London, Feb 25 (CTK) – The Czech authorities strictly observe laws, including the EU joint policy, for trading in components that may be used for the production of explosives to prevent them from getting to Islamic State, the Czech Foreign Ministry said on Thursday in reaction to an NGO’s study.

The Conflict Armament Research (CAR) British NGO, co-funded by the EU, says in its study that companies from 20 countries, including the Czech Republic, are involved in the supply chain of components that end up in Islamic State (IS) explosives, Reuters reported on Thursday.

It wrote, referring to the study, that 51 companies from the countries, for instance, Austria, Brazil, China, the Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United States produced, sold or received more than 700 components used by IS to build improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

They are now being produced on a “quasi-industrial scale” by the militant group, which uses both industrial components that are regulated and widely available equipment such as fertiliser chemicals and mobile phones, according to the CAR, Reuters reported, adding that Turkey was the worst in this respect.

The Czech Foreign Ministry says in its statement sent to CTK that the state authorities fully observe the valid legislative framework for the components that are subject to regulation, including the valid embargoes and restrictions.

Besides, the ministry as a participant in licence proceedings in the area of regulated components export is continuously analysing the security and political situation in particular regions.

On the basis of these analyses, it sets strict conditions to limit the risks of abuse of the exported products or their possible transfer to other parties.

“Moreover, if it were proven that some of the exporters violated the licence or permit conditions, the case would be subject to penal proceedings,” the ministry said in its statement.

The CAR has gained evidence for its results by studying components from major battles in Iraq and Syria in cooperation with partners, including the fighting Kurdish groups and the Iraqi police.

The report’s authors say they attempted to contact the companies linked to the components, adding that the firms did not respond or were not able to account for where the goods went after they left their custody, Reuters wrote.

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