War Profiteer of the Month: Magforce International

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The marketing material uncovered at DSEI, displaying leg irons and electric stun guns
The marketing material uncovered at DSEI, displaying leg irons and electric stun guns

The logo of MagForce International

MagForce (or Mag Force) International is a manufacturer of military equipment based in France, with head offices in the Paris suburb of Aubervilliers. The company sells equipment and vehicles to militaries and the police forces around the world, including uniforms and other clothing, armoured vehicles, and crowd control weaponry. The company’s website includes various water cannons, riot shields, and chemical weapons such as mace. MagForce International sells equipment to governments all over the world, and especially to African and Middle Eastern countries. It also markets equipment to private security companies.

 

In 2013, MagForce International was an exhibitor at the London arms fair, Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI). MagForce International were removed from the fair - alongside Chinese company Tian Jin MyWay International Trading - after human rights campaigners uncovered evidence that the company was marketing equipment banned in the UK because it can be used in torture (see title image), including leg restraints and electric stun guns. Activists tried to bring a private prosecution against both companies, but were restricted in doing so by the UK government.

The company has continued to exhibit at other arms fairs around the world, including MiliPol and Eurosatory in Paris, AidEx in Brussels, and at ShieldAfrica, an arms fair taking place in South Africa in January 2017.

According to CorporateWatch, in 2013 MagForce International supplied eight Zodiac inflatable boats to the Ivory Coast, despite a UN arms embargo. A UN report in 2012 that an arms trafficking network including Frédéric Lafont, who represented MagForce International at the time, of "repeated violations to the sanctions regime."

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