NATO drug cartel: Ecolog obtains restraining order against state broadcaster NDR

From:    http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5326489,00.html    – 06.03.2010

The state court of Hamburg granted a restraining order against the state broadcaster Norddeutsche Rundfunk (NDR) on March 4, 2010.

The order means that NDR is no longer allowed to “raise the suspicion that the [Ecolog company] is involved in drug dealing” or that it “is backed by members of a clan involved in organized crime.”

In a press statement, Ecolog described assertions in the NDR report as “groundless suspicions.” The NDR had speculated that the company may have abused its economic relations with the ISAF in Afghanistan for illegal trade. Deutsche Welle reproduced the NDR report in several languages.

The NDR cited an 8-year-old report from German news services as well as a later secret service report from KFOR sources. This report mentioned a Macedonian family clan named Destani, alleged to be involved in organized crime. The founder of Ecolog is also called Destani. The German four-star general Egon Ramms, commander of NATO Joint Force Command in the Dutch town of Brunssum, was also quoted. In an interview, Ramms expressed interest in investigating the allegation.

In a press statement, Ecolog executive board member Thomas Wachowitz described the accusations as “completely groundless and lacking any substance.” The NDR dismissed the company’s claims as unfounded and announced its intention to appeal against the restraining order.

Dusseldorf-based Ecolog offers logistics services in conflict zones, including laundry services, mobile homes, construction services, catering and fuel. It also maintains “independent foreign subsidiaries” in the USA, Macedonia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and China, as well as a “liaison office” in Lebanon.

Author: Fabian Schmidt/bk (dpa)
Editor: Rick Demarest

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