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BALKANALYSIS Macedonian Street Justice for Sketchy Iraq Subcontractor

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  • sibercor2000
    http://www.balkanalysis.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=438 BALKANALYSIS Macedonian Street Justice for Sketchy Iraq Subcontractor Posted on Sunday,
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2004


      Macedonian Street Justice for Sketchy Iraq Subcontractor
      Posted on Sunday, October 31 @ 19:30:00 EST by CDeliso

      The mysterious Sergio Tanguma, the headhunter of unknown provenance who
      supplied Soufan Engineering's Iraq operation with Macedonian workers - three
      of whom were subsequently kidnapped and killed - got "beaten very well" on
      Friday night by Macedonians in the Kumanovo-area village of Agino Selo.
      After being hospitalized and calling on the US Embassy to watch over him,
      the wily Tanguma tried to flee the country for Istanbul at 3 PM on Sunday -
      but was apprehended at Skopje's Petrovec Airport.

      It is unclear what drew Tanguma to Agino Selo on Friday night. The village
      was formerly a common hang-out for NATO soldiers and Brown & Root workers,
      owing to its proximity to their encampments, and he would surely have had
      contacts there. According to television reports on Sunday, Tanguma together
      with his driver and bodyguard visited the village before midnight, argued
      with some locals, and left. Two hours later, however, they returned, and
      local villagers at the Night Club Carumba vented their feelings with a
      baseball bat on Tanguma. He was taken to the hospital in Skopje, and
      commissioned the US Embassy to stand watch over his bed, out of a stated
      fear of the suddenly not-so-friendly Macedonians.

      While the doctors urged Tanguma to stay in the hospital for another day, he
      checked himself out and then tried to check himself out of the country. Not
      so fast, Sergio, said the airport police, who remanded him in custody for
      failing to report in to Kumanovo police over the beating. Ironically, the
      police claimed that they were actually trying to help him; by taking his
      testimony, they would have a better chance of finding who beat him.

      However, Tanguma's attempted exodus only drew added suspicions to a man with
      a decidedly murky legacy in Macedonia. Setting up a fly-by-night office with
      the help of a local Kumanovo man, he attempted to siphon employees to
      Soufan, but has been accused of failing to provide health insurance for
      them. Also, he and the local partner have been accused of failing to get the
      proper permits for opening an office.

      The Kumanovo police on Sunday had found two suspects, a 31 year-old man, and
      another 33 year-old, both from Agino Selo. Unsurprisingly, locals surveyed
      in the village were not forthcoming about what went on Friday night.

      Tanguma allegedly developed his Macedonia connections while working for
      Brown & Root in Kumanovo. Some local media have speculated that he got into
      hot water for illegally selling weapons to Kosovo. In any case, when Soufan
      was scouring the earth for willing employees, Tanguma's Macedonian
      connection came in handy. He was able to convince 38 Kumanovo locals to sign
      on the dotted line and head to Iraq. The president of the U.A.E.-based
      company did not respond to questions last week regarding the killed
      Macedonian workers.

      However, the fun is not over yet, not by a long shot. On Monday, the 19
      workers recently returned from Iraq are expected to file suit against
      Tanguma for failing to pay them their complete salaries - but apparently not
      for imperiling their lives in the swirling sands of Iraq.
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