Friday, March 24, 2006

Transport Of Radioactive Materials

U.S. Hiring Chinese Company To Scan Nukes
23 March 2006

THE GUARDIAN (WASHINGTON)-- In the aftermath of the Dubai ports dispute, the Bush administration is hiring a Hong Kong conglomerate to help detect nuclear materials inside cargo passing through the Bahamas to the United States and elsewhere. The administration acknowledges the no-bid contract with Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. represents the first time a foreign company will be involved in running a sophisticated United States (U.S.) radiation detector at an overseas port without American customs agents present. Hutchison Whampoa is the world's largest ports operator and among the industry's most-respected companies. It was an early adopter of U.S. anti-terror measures. But its billionaire chairman, Li Ka-Shing, also has substantial business ties to China's government that have raised U.S. concerns over the years. Three years ago, the Bush administration effectively blocked a Hutchison subsidiary from buying part of a bankrupt U.S. telecommunications company, Global Crossing Ltd., on national security grounds. And a U.S. military intelligence report, once marked ``secret,'' cited Hutchison in 1999 as a potential risk for smuggling arms and other prohibited materials into the United States from the Bahamas. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) currently has no security concerns about Hutchison's port operations, and the administration believes the pending deal with the foreign company would be safe, officials said. Source:,,-5706766,00.html (Reliability 8)



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