The owner of a strategically important fuel storage depot in Kyrgyzstan claims he came under pressure to sell it after refusing to rent the facility to Red Star Enterprises Ltd.
Red Star and its affiliate, Mina Corp, are the previous and current holders of lucrative fuel-supply contracts at the Manas Transit Center, near the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek. Both entities are currently the subject of a US congressional investigation into contracting practices at Manas, which is a key logistical hub for the US and NATO war effort in Afghanistan. [For background see EurasiaNet’s archive].
Valeriy Khon, the head of the VOSST company and the owner of a fuel storage depot near the Manas facility, asserts that he received a letter in July of 2006 from Chuck Squires, a former US defense attaché in Bishkek who went on to become a military procurement impresario. Signing the letter in the capacity of Red Star’s director of operations, Squires sought to rent Khon’s depot. Khon made a copy of the letter available to EurasiaNet.org.
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Deirdre Tynan is a Bishkek-based reporter specializing in Central Asian affairs.