Port of Houston's link to Libya, Ghadafi family

March 26, 2011 6:31:52 AM PDT
Were learning a lot more tonight about the business dealings between the Port of Houston and Moahmmar Ghadafi's brutal regime and it's a lot more than the January visit Ghadafi's son made in January.

13 Undercover is back on the Libyan connection and the tens of thousands of dollars you spent on a wasted venture.

We broke the news last night that just weeks before the US sent cruise missiles to Libya, Ghadafi's son was all smiles with officials of the Port of Houston. What we now know is that this was not just a photo op.

The US government called him a bloodthirsty special forces commander -- Khamis Ghadafi, the son that used mercenaries to massacre civilians this month in Libya.

Just weeks earlier, he was in Houston and spent the day at the Port of Houston. He was with the Port Chairman Jim Edmonds, part of a photo session.

Channel 13 was not invited to be there, as a port email pointed out, "This is not a media event."

And we now know the trip was part of a much greater relationship between Libya, the Port of Houston and one of its biggest vendors.

Documents obtained by 13 Undercover on Friday show negotiations had been underway for more than two years for the Port of Houston to consult on at least five Libyan ports, even helping them improve security.

There's more than one memorandum of understanding of the relationship; Edmonds spent more than a week in Libya in 2009 and then offered the Libyans site inspections of Houston port facilities. This is the same country linked to the Lockerbie bombing.

The plane ticket alone cost you nearly $12,000.

During the Houston visit in January, Ghadafi's son was given a virtual tour of the port and our cargo terminal.

In a statement issued Thursday, the port reminded us:

"In recent years, the United States government has eased diplomatic relations with Libya."

And from the itinerary of Khamis Ghadafi's visit this year, it sure looked like it.

The port visit just one of a number of stops in Houston and then his schedule was on to a Broadway show in New York and even a scheduled tour of west point on February 21. But by that time, the trip was apparently cut short because by then, demonstrators were being systematically mowed down on the streets of Libya.

Port of Houston officials, according to records, have spent $60,000 alone just flying to Libya to woo the Ghadafi government, but our investigation is just now beginning into the port and its Libyan connection.


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