Slater the dodgy arms dealer | The Jackal

1 Nov 2012

Slater the dodgy arms dealer

Today, Stuff reported:

New Truth newspaper editor Cameron Slater and former tobacco PR man Carrick Graham were behind an aborted scheme to sell NZ Army tanks to overseas military buyers.

The pair formed a company in 2010 after Slater "had an idea" and told Graham, who realised he had overseas military contacts who might be interested in the army's under-used Light Armoured Vehicles (LAVs).

Graham would not say who his contacts were or where they were from but confirmed they were military in nature.

"It was our understanding that New Zealand was keen on selling some of them, so we just had a bit of a fish around and that was it.

It would be interesting to know who exactly they were in talks with to sell New Zealands military hardware to? Considering Slater's previous form, it could pretty much be anybody.

Speaking yesterday after being named editor of the Truth weekly tabloid paper, Slater said his idea for the venture was to do "something similar to what Pharmac does in the pharmaceutical industry" - procuring government requirements for a cheaper price, along with selling surplus equipment.

The difference is that Pharmac doesn't try to sell stuff it hasn't got a legal claim to.

He said government organisations such as the police, the Department of Corrections and the army were "big buyers of stuff".

You can bet your bottom dollar that Slater and his accomplice would make the worst kind of middlemen.

The New Zealand Defence Force has said it has not had any contact with the New Zealand Military Procurement Agency" or any other external organisation in relation to a potential LAV sale or disposal".

If that's the case, it appears that Cameron Slater and Carrick Graham undertook an illegal practice. They obviously didn't have permission to offer the LAV's for sale, and under the law, it's a fraud to try to sell something you don't have any legal claim to.

This type of fraud is usually committed through a limited-liability company to make it hard to see who is buying the property, which in this case is military hardware. It just so happens that they did in fact set up a limited liability company.

They were likely trying to con the government in a short-selling fraud. But as usual the contemptuous Cameron Slater won't be held to account... Being a right-wing spin doctor has to be good for something I suppose.