14 April 1997, USA: A suspicious machine sale to Yemen at a printing trade show in Chicago

Executives from the London based Longulf Trading went on a $3-million shopping spree at an international trade show being held in Chicago’s McCormick Place exhibition centre. The Converting Machinery Manufacturer’s exhibition was showcasing printing & packaging machinery and the Longulf executives bought enough equipment to furnish a new factory from scratch. Their main purchase was a $1-million Italian Bielloni flexographic printing press.  The destination for all this equipment was an ill-defined end-customer in Yemen whose name they made-up and whose address they refused to divulge. 

Longulf Trading is the London office of a Yemeni owned multi-billion dollar global conglomerate called the Hayel Saeed Anam GroupI now know the end customer in Yemen was 9/11 terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s front company called YemPak (a Yemen-Pakistan abbreviation), located inside the headquarters compound of Longulf Trading’s multi-billion dollar global conglomerate parent company, the Hayel Saeed Anam (HSA) Group at PO Box 5302 Taiz Yemen. 

How do I know all this? I was at the trade show in Chicago demonstrating machinery on my family company's sales stand when the Longulf executives enquired about purchasing one. I was also the technician sent to Yemen to install the $100,000 machine they purchased from us; that’s where I met Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (introduced to me as ‘the Engineer’) just before been taken to an unscheduled meeting in a secluded valley one-mile from Al Qa’idah town

There were four people working for my Father at the Chicago trade show: me (Anthony Heaford), my brother Nigel Heaford, Jerry Stevens (a British military veteran of counter piracy operations in the South China Sea), and Dave Dean. Dean was a US military veteran of Vietnam and owner of Dean Printing Systems of Chicago, specializing in machinery, electronics and associated chemicals sales. In November 2019 I discovered evidence that Dean had served with the highly secretive special forces ‘Studies and Observations Group’ (MACV-SOG) in Vietnam, trained by the infamous CIA contractor Billy Waugh. Billy Waugh freely admits training Al Qaeda fighters in 1990s Yemen and I suspect those links - between Waugh & Yemen / Waugh & Dean / Dean & YemPak - are why the HSA Group executives came to visit our sales stand in 1997 Chicago. I’ve been told Dave Dean died in early 2020, around the same time I published my report saying he was ex-MACV-SOG and had been trained by Billy Waugh. He will have been about seventy years old.

About twenty minutes before the Longulf Trading executives arrived at our sales stand, Dave Dean called my Father away saying he had something to show him. My Father told me later that they’d gone to a cafe overlooking the exhibition hall, effectively watching events unfold from above. The Longulf executives’ visit was remarkably quick: I demonstrated the machinery to them before my brother Nigel and Jerry Stevens completed the sale. The Longulf Trading executives didn't negotiate the price and very unusually agreed payment up front and in full. As they left our sales stand we noticed they were being watched and followed by a group of about half a dozen men - staff from other exhibition stands we assumed. Jerry Stevens immediately referred to the sale as suspicious but my brother Nigel Heaford responded by saying:

“Don’t ask any questions, they just paid list price for our top machine!"

The Longulf executives had an exhibition guide book, with the exhibitors they had to visit marked on a map and a corresponding ‘shopping list’ of what machinery they had to buy from whom. That guide and the shopping list were very likely written for them by a specialist, someone with a knowledge of printing factory setups, equipment suppliers, and of the Chicago trade show - someone like Dave Dean. 

Upon Dave Dean & my Father’s return, not long after the Longulf Trading executives had left, my father didn’t seem surprised by the $100,000 sale we’d made during his absence. And very unusually Dean declined the sales commission he was due too - several thousand dollars - a deliberate effort to avoid documented links between him and YemPak I now think. The day after Longulf Trading's shopping spree in Chicago a senior British government representative (a diplomat or ambassador I think) visited our sales stand, apparently basking in the prestige of a British company (Longulf Trading) having created so much business in Chicago. 

Longulf Trading was listed as a new customer in Chicago but it later transpired we'd sold a gravure proofing press to the HSA Group in Yemen in 1993, a machine installed by my other brother Paul Heaford. Paul lived in America in the 1990s, working directly for Dave Dean. My Father won his second Queen’s Award for Export Achievement in 1995, something very likely influenced by his machine sale to Yemen, a machine I believe was used to furnish another al Qaeda front company run by the HSA Group near Taiz. My evidence for that is a common surname of the 1993 contact and the name of my contact in 1997 - Ahmed Alrobaidi and Saeed Alrobaidi respectively, as listed in my original YemPak customer database entries

Link to image of my diary entries and photos for April 1997, covering various machine installations, the exhibition in Chicago and visiting the ‘Skybox’ - Dave Dean’s very curious bar setup in a warehouse in the cargo handling area of Chicago’s O’Hare airport. 

Concurrent events: One month before spending $3-million in Chicago, on 18 March 1997 three HSA Group directors became directors of a financial shell company called Atlantic Investments in the Cayman Islands. One month after their shopping spree  Chicago, on 20 May 1997 the HSA Group registered Cepac Limited., a  British business that invested tens of millions buying out at least three companies to create Britain’s largest cardboard packaging manufacturer.


Truly, for some of us nothing is written, unless we write it 
© Anthony C Heaford - The Quiet Mancunian