— 1997, April — Chicago: Machine sale to Yemen

In April 1997 executives from a London based company called Longulf Trading went on a remarkable shopping spree at the Converting Machinery Manufacturer’s (printing & packaging) international trade show being held in Chicago’s McCormick Place exhibition centre in the United States of America. Longulf Trading is the London office of the multi-billion dollar Yemeni owned Hayel Saeed Anam Group global conglomerate.

The Longulf Trading executives ordered about $3-million worth of top-end graphics, printing and packaging equipment from various suppliers at the trade show, their main purchase being an approximately $1-million Italian Bielloni flexographic printing press. All the equipment they purchased in Chicago was for an ill-defined end-customer in Yemen whose company name they made-up on the spot (first they said GenPak but changed it to GemPak when told GenPak was an existing company) and whose address they refused to divulge. 

I now know the 'end customer’ in Yemen was 9/11 terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s front company called YemPak (Yemen-Pakistan abbreviation), located inside the headquarters compound of Longulf Trading’s parent company, the Hayel Saeed Anam (HSA) Group. How do I know this? I was working for my Father’s company at the Chicago trade show, demonstrating machinery on his sales stand when the Longulf executives enquired about purchasing one. I was also the technician sent to Yemen in September 1997 to install the machine, a $100,000 flexographic plate mounting and proofing machine that they’d purchased - that’s where I met Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (introduced to me as ‘the Engineer’), just before I was taken to an unscheduled meeting 1-mile from Al Qa’idah town

There were four people working for my Father at the Chicago trade show: myself & my brother Nigel Heaford, Jerry Stevens (a British military veteran of counter piracy operations in the South China Sea), and Dave Dean (a US military veteran of Vietnam). In November 2019 I discovered evidence that Dave Dean had served with the highly secretive special forces ‘Studies and Observations Group’ (MACV-SOG) in Vietnam, and that he’d been trained in HALO parachuting by the infamous Billy Waugh. Billy Waugh freely admits training Al Qaeda fighters in 1990s Yemen, fighters he said were intent on attacking the US mainland. I’ve recently been told Dave Dean died in early 2020, around the same time I published my assertion that he was ex-MACV-SOG and had been trained by Billy Waugh. He will have been about seventy years old; I don’t know the cause of death.

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 later said they’d gone to a cafe overlooking the exhibition hall, effectively watching events unfold from above. The Longulf executives’ visit to our sales stand was remarkably quick; I demonstrated the machinery to them before my brother Nigel and Jerry Stevens completed the sale. The Longulf Trading executives did not negotiate the sale price at all and very unusually agreed payment would be made in full and up front. 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 enthrawled by Longulf Trading’s remarkable shopping spree we assumed. Jerry Stevens immediately referred to the sale as suspicious; my brother Nigel Heaford, responded by saying:

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

Upon Dave Dean & my Father’s return, not long after the Longulf Trading executives had left, my father didn’t appear surprised by the $100,000 sale we’d made during their absence. Very unusually Dean also declined the sales commission of several thousand dollars too. He was entitled to the commission for the machine sale on his territory. I now assume this was a deliberate effort by Dean to avoid any documented link between him and Longulf Trading, their parent company the Hayel Saeed Anam Group and very specifically Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s front company in Yemen.

A day or two after the London based Longulf Trading's shopping spree the exhibition was visited by a senior British government representative (a diplomat or ambassador I think), apparently basking in prestige of a British company (Longulf Trading) having created so much business at the trade show in Chicago. That British government representative visited my Father’s sales stand, walking in the proverbial footprints of the financiers of 9/11 terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

Longulf Trading was listed as a new customer for my Father’s company but very curiously it later transpired that my Father had 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 and his sales agency Dean Printing Systems of Chicago (specializing in printing machinery, electronics and associated chemicals).

A .pdf image of my diary entries and photos for April 1997 linked here, 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

Truly, for some of us nothing is written, unless we write it