Frans van Anraat

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Person.png Frans van Anraat  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(war criminal, spook)
Van Amraat.png
Den Helder, Netherlands
NationalityDutch, Iraqi
Criminal charge
War crimes
Criminal status
released after serving 1/3 of time (in 2015)
Big supplier of Saddam Hussein. Rejected setting up a new deep state-front in Iraq during Iraq War and fled an AIVD safehouse. Only Dutch national to ever appear of FBI Ten most Wanted list. Jailed for 17 years.

Frans Cornelis Adrianus van Anraat (born August 9, 1942 in Den Helder) is a Dutch businessman who sold raw materials for the production of chemical weapons to Iraq during the reign of Saddam Hussein, being targeted for that reason by the US from the 1980s resulting in Van Anraat becoming the only Dutchman ever to appear on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. Van Anraat's attempted escape from an AIVD safehouse in Amsterdam after getting suspicious of his handler after being recruited to open a new front for the new Iraq war resulted in Van Anraat's arrest in 2004. Van Anraat was eventually convinced to 17 years in prison.[1]


Van Anraat dropped out of high school and subsequently pursued an degree as analyst. After dropping out of college he started trading. Leaving Dutch soil for Switzerland in 1973, Van Anraat became an agent and consultant for engineers of factories in the middle east founding a company named "FCA", after his initials. He began trading dangerous chemicals in the 1980s with secret routes and bribing personnel in harbours. At first from Japan, but after gaining popularity in the US, even buying out a company - named Alcolac - in Baltimore. At this point he began trading more sinister stuff such as Terephthaloyl chloride and Thiodiglycol bribing people on his smuggling route from the US, to Bagdad with stops in Canada and Antwerp and Jordan.[2]

Van Anraat began middle eastern companies and quickly found a big buyer in Saddam Hussein. An interesting detail is that nobody can pin point how he was introduced to Saddam.

“When I was called into court I was with an intern of my lawyer. The lawyer was the son of the minister of justice Giuliano Vassalli. So I knew in advance that the earlier verdict (no rendition) would get cancelled. It was made clear to me that it was better to take a "vacation".”
Frans van Anraat (03-02-2005)  [3]


After the war crimes of the Iran-Iraq war the US began investigating suppliers for the mustard gas and nerve gas. When the UN pinpointed one of the biggest batches of supplies at van Anraat, he was arrested in 1989 in Milan[4] and escaped to Iraq after being threatened a rendition to the US. The Dutch had 3 major companies that were on the scope of the international police, but van Anraat was the unusual sole main focus, especially because, of his ambitious character, he even continued supplying throughout the war. Van Amraat called the investigations before his arrest a matter of "pulling up a smokescreen". After his escape before his case in Italy came before the court of appeals van Anraat got Iraqi citizenship. Corporate media paints this as a gift from Saddam, as he moved his family and started operating in the parliamentary quarter, hiding there until the US lifted the international warrant.[5] Van Anraat's nephew and his ex-wife were questioned continuously even before he came back to the Netherlands by Dutch secret service agents.


Back in Amsterdam, in October and November 2003 during the start of the Iraqi war van Anraat got told "your actions were not an act of crime" and to give "multiple interviews in newspapers" and "give a TV-interview" as "his story could then die a quiet death and be quickly forgotten" by his AIVD handler that also interrogated him at his safehouse. The handler set up a plan with van Anraat to even start a new "front store" in Iraq during the Iraq war to rekindle his old knowledge, something not possible with his own knowledge by his own TV-interviews. Van Anraat actually appeared on state-TV calling his partners just his partners and calling it "not his business what they do with his products" and "If I wouldn't have delivered, another person would." Van Anraat also reasoned he couldn't be guilty using plausible deniability and kept being acknowledged by the case officer van Anraat had two meetings per week with, along with his handler at the AIVD. Van Anraat appeared on tv-show Network very nervously saying on TV he didn't expect an investigation without any reasoning giving apart from "If they wanted to convict me, I'd knew by now".[6]

Aftermath of Van Anraat's supplies.


Interestingly enough the Dutch public prosecutor didn't had van Anraat under any scope but initiated an investigation after this "media offensive". The Swiss and US found an former Iraqi-general for the chemical weapons program and worked together at forming a new rendition request, van Amraat was arrested on suspicion of war crimes and crimes against humanity, the only person since World War 2 to ever been accused of these crimes in the Netherlands.[7] The media jumped on the case and court files revealed van Anraat's house was an AIVD-safehouse[8]. Van Anraat lawyers began arguing in the court proceedings and in the media that the AIVD used him as a pawn, arguing he was not investigated in the previous decades as the Dutch law only could convict him by law of war crimes and crimes against humanity starting from the 1st of October 2003 showing a political and wrong intent. Van Anraat got 17 years in 2005.[9]


Dutch state broadcaster AVRO didn't release several interviews that would be more damaging for deep state interests then most have known. United Special Customs Agent Dennis Bass argued he could prove beyond reasonable doubt that van Anraat had help from higher-ups. When he was questioned about claims a minister of justice helped Van Anraat escape, Bass said; "I'm not surprised. Van Anraat was working with people very high-up. Don't forget that for the US Department of Justice it would've been very interesting to make a show-trial out of this case to prove that Iraq was producing chemical weapons." Van Anraat doesn't appear on YouTube and most of his videos come from before social media. So the memory hole has worked. For the AIVD, that is.


[1] - Defence of van Anraat, partly it is, in Dutch.