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Encyclopedia > Roger Tamraz

Roger Tamraz (Arabic: روجيه تمرز) is an American-Lebanese citizen, financier, and entrepreneurial businessman who earned much of his fortune off of the oil business.[1] Arabic can mean: From or related to Arabia From or related to the Arabs The Arabic language; see also Arabic grammar The Arabic alphabet, used for expressing the languages of Arabic, Persian, Malay ( Jawi), Kurdish, Panjabi, Pashto, Sindhi and Urdu, among others. ...

Contents

Lebanon- the Intra Bank and Bank Al-Mashrek

Tamraz's first notable business enterprise was during the Lebanese Civil War when he partnered with former Lebanese President, Amin Jumayyil in running a bank. Combatants Lebanese Front Syria LNM PLO Commanders Bachir Gemayel Dany Chamoun Kamal Jumblatt Yasser Arafat The multi-sided Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990) had its origin in the conflicts and political compromises after the end of Lebanons administration by the Ottoman Empire and was exacerbated by the nations... Amine Gemayel (born 1942) was President of Lebanon from 1982 to 1988. ...



[1] The Intra Bank, as it was called, was greatly dependent on other Lebanese banks such as the Central Bank-Lebanon and the Lebanese Federal Reserve (especially after its virtual collapse in 1966.) The start-up money for the bank was fronted by the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, operating out of Pakistan. Roger Tamraz was the chairman of Intra Bank's board of directors, in which the Central Bank had a 27.75 percent share and the Lebanese Federal Reserve (LFR), a 10 percent share. In 1986 he engaged in a series of what the Central Bank and LFR board of directors called "questionable ventures", referring to his overseas acquisitions. The details of these ventures are held in the legislative files of Don Fowler's office, the Tamraz files at the National Security Council, as well as the CIA's South Eurasian Group's files, all on restricted status. [1] Intra Bank head office. ... BCCI in London was closed by the Bank of England in 1991 after evidence emerged of fraud and money laundering. ... Intra Bank head office. ...


In 1987, the Central Bank and the LFR forced Intra Bank to assemble a new board of directors, the majority of them Persian gulf shareholders with a stake in Central Bank and the LFR. Tamraz responded by holding a meeting in East Beirut which appointed a new, competing board of directors for Intra Bank, naming him as an honorary board member with "executive prerogative", effectively a chairman under a different name. This meeting was held with less than eight percent of the main shareholder representatives present. It was a move that brought the full weight of the Central Bank and the LFR down on his head. Two weeks after the meeting he was forced to resign from Intra Bank and sell his share of Middle-Eastern Airlines.[1] Intra Bank head office. ... Map of the Persian Gulf. ... For other uses, see Beirut (disambiguation). ...


Tamraz responded with Bank Al-Mashrek, a project funded by his liquefied assets from Intra Bank, money fronted by President Jumayyil, and support from the wing of Intra Bank that he still had access to- the Intra Bank Consulting Group. Bank Al-Mashrek continued to accept loans under the name of the Intra Bank Consulting Group, quickly building itself off of Intra Bank's reputation (which at one point accounted for ten percent of all of Lebanon's deposits and forty percent of all of its loans.)[1]


The money was used for more international investment. In 1988, Bank Al-Mashrek bought Banque Stern's and Banca di Particepiazioni e Investimenti's commercial interests as well as four branches of Jammal Trust Bank. By 1988, Bank Al-Mashrek's total assets were estimated at one hundred billion Lebanese pounds, seventy-percent of that held outside of the country. During this time, Tamraz remained out of the reach of angry shareholders and executives of his old bank, shareholders of his new bank, as well as the pressure of the Central Bank and the LFR, largely because of the patronage of President Jumayyil who assisted him in a range of ways- from court exemption to armed escort. When Jumayyil went into exile in 1988, all four of these forces converged against Tamraz and he was convicted in absentia of defrauding his depositors.[1]


By the time the sentencing passed, Tamraz was in a plane bound for Nicosia, leaving instructions with his aide- Mahmoud Sahriya- to inform the Lebanese Gendarmie that his indictment was the result of Syrian pressure, which came as punishment for him serving Jumayyil as an emissary to Israel. The Lebanese Gendarmie registered the indictment with Interpol, turning him into an international fugitive. As this was enough to hinder many business ventures in the Middle-East, Tamraz flew to Turkmenistan.[1] District Nicosia Government  - Mayor Eleni Mavrou Population (2001)  - City 206,200 Time zone EET (UTC+2) Website: http://www. ... Emissary was the first episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. ... Interpol, or International Criminal Police Organization, was established as The International Criminal Police Commission in 1923 to assist international criminal police cooperation. ...


Turkmenistan

In 1991, Turkmenistan's executive office, the office of Saparmurat Niyazov, registered two suitcases of dollars, their origin unknown, provided as donation by Roger Tamraz.[1] The exact amount of money donated by Tamraz to Niyazov is unknown. By 1992, two of Turkmenistan's biggest oil fields, Block 1 (containing 358 million barrels of oil and 3.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas) and Block 2 (containing 90 million barrels of oil and 2.2 trillion of feet of natural gas) were owned by two companies- Oil Capital Limited and Tamoil, both of them Tamraz's.[1] Tamraz was in the news two years later, advocating a pipeline from Turkmenistan to the Mediterranean via Armenia.[1] Saparmurat Atayevich Niyazov (Turkmen: , Russian: [Saparmurat Ataevič Niâzov]) (b. ... Saparmurat Atayevich Niyazov Turkmenbashy [ssap-ar-moor-at ni-yaz-obv] (Turkmen Saparmyrat Nyýazow Türkmenbaşy) (born February 19, 1940) has been the most powerful figure in Turkmenistan since 1985. ... Natural olive oil Synthetic motor oil An oil is any substance that is in a viscous liquid state (oily) at ambient temperatures or slightly warmer, and is both hydrophobic (immiscible with water, literally water fearing) and lipophilic (miscible with other oils, literally fat loving). This general definition includes compound classes... Natural gas is a gaseous fossil fuel consisting primarily of methane but including significant quantities of ethane, butane, propane, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, helium and hydrogen sulfide. ... Tamoil is a large energy and oil company. ... The Mediterranean Sea is an intercontinental sea positioned between Europe to the north, Africa to the south and Asia to the east, covering an approximate area of 2. ...


Although the Mediterranean pipeline project was put on hold due to the inability of planners and analysts to guarantee its safety in the volatile Nagorno-Karabakh region of Armenia/Azerbaijan (in dispute), Tamraz managed to head a project under the code name "Semi-Final" in 1994.[1] Project Semi-Final was a joint venture between Oil Capital Limited, Tamoil, and the Turkmen government, which created a series of small pipelines in an attempt to provide an interim solution to providing oil to Western European markets.[1] Project Semi-Final was also the killing stroke of Turkmenistan and foreign oil companies to Russian state-owned companies vying for Turkmen oil. This is because the smaller pipe-lines built under Semi-Final were an effective bypass of the major Russian oil-line in Turkmenistan. The Mediterranean Sea is an intercontinental sea positioned between Europe to the north, Africa to the south and Asia to the east, covering an approximate area of 2. ... Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijani: Dağlıq Qarabağ or Yuxarı Qarabağ, literally mountainous black garden or upper black garden; Russian: Нагорный Карабах, translit. ... Tamoil is a large energy and oil company. ...


Around the same time, Tamraz began to meet with Azerbaijani President, Heydar Aliyev. He began tentative discussion of a pipeline running from Baku to Nakhichevan to Turkey, demanding his company receive five percent of the oil consortium. Having suffered great financial loss from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Armenia, Aliyev agreed.[2] Heydar Alirza oglu Aliyev (Heydər Əlirza oğlu Əliyev in Azerbaijani) (sometimes transliterated as Heidar Aliev or Geidar Aliev from the Russian Гейдар Алиев) (May 10, 1923? - December 12, 2003) served as president of Azerbaijan for the New Azerbaijan Party from June 1993 to October 2003, when his son Ilham Aliyev... Municipality: Baku Area: 260 km² Altitude: -28 m Population: 2,074,300 census 2003 Population density: 1280 persons/km² Postal Code: AZ10 Area code: +99412 Municipality code: BA Latitude: 40° 23 N Longitude: 49° 52 E Mayor: Hajibala Abutalybov The Baku region. ... The Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic (Azerbaijani: Naxçıvan Muxtar Respublikası, Armenian: Նախիջևանի Ինքնավար Հանրապետություն, Russian: Нахичеванская Автономная Республика, Persian:جمهوری خودمختار نخجوان, Turkish: Nahçıvan Özerk Cumhuriyeti), known simply as Nakhichevan, is a landlocked exclave of Azerbaijan. ... Combatants Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh1 Republic of Armenia 2 CIS mercenaries Republic of Azerbaijan Afghan Mujahideen 3 Chechen Volunteers 4 CIS mercenaries Commanders Samvel Babayan, Hemayag Haroyan, Monte Melkonian, Vazgen Sarkisyan, Arkady Ter-Tatevosyan İsgandar Hamidov, Suret Huseynov, Rahim Gaziev, Shamil Basayev Casualties ~6,000 dead, 20,000 wounded ~17...


Tamraz and the U.S.A.

It is at this point that Tamraz began to attract the attention of high-level U.S.officials. Especially from the United States ambassador to Armenia, Harry Gilmore, whose office called the Baku-Nakhichevan-Turkey line "unworkable, undesirable, and unsafe."[2] For other uses, see United States (disambiguation) and US (disambiguation). ... An ambassador, rarely embassador, is a diplomatic official accredited to a foreign sovereign or government, or to an international organization, to serve as the official representative of his or her own country. ...


This was not Tamraz's first encounter with the U.S. government. He has been in contact with C.I.A. case officers since 1972. He provided cover for Near East case officers working in Lebanon by affiliating them with his bank. When the C.I.A. began to suspect Intra Bank's start-up backers, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, of holding Abu Nidal's accounts, they worked to disassociate themselves.[2] CIA, see CIA (disambiguation). ... BCCI in London was closed by the Bank of England in 1991 after evidence emerged of fraud and money laundering. ... Abu Nidal in 1976 in a photograph released by the Israeli army, one of only a handful of photographs of him known to exist. ...


At some point in the eighties (again the information is on restricted access) Tamraz began lobbying the office of President Ronald Reagan, giving enough money to be awarded the "Republican Eagle" affiliate status in the party. Despite this, he was unable to get a meeting with any notable representatives from the Reagan administration.[2] Ronald Wilson Reagan (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was the 40th President of the United States (1981 – 1989) and the 33rd Governor of California (1967 – 1975). ... Reagan, an Irish surname, may refer to: // Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of The United States Nancy Reagan, the wife of Ronald Reagan and influential First Lady Ron Reagan, President Reagans son and liberal journalist Michael Reagan, President Reagans son and conservative talk show host Maureen Reagan, President...


It is suspected that around this time (in the eighties) Tamraz received his U.S. citizenship, most likely in the form of asylum from the Lebanese Civil War. The details of his citizenship are however inaccessible.[3] Combatants Lebanese Front Syria LNM PLO Commanders Bachir Gemayel Dany Chamoun Kamal Jumblatt Yasser Arafat The multi-sided Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990) had its origin in the conflicts and political compromises after the end of Lebanons administration by the Ottoman Empire and was exacerbated by the nations...


The Gilmore memo made enough of a stir in Washington to prompt the Democratic National Committee's (D.N.C.) Don Fowler to research Tamraz and, remembering his willingness to donate money to the White House, solicit him for funding.[3] This he achieved with little difficulty, starting with a check written by Tamoil to the D.N.C. for 250,000 dollars. With his new-found political contact, Tamraz began to meet many other U.S. officials. According to his own testimony, Tamraz wanted U.S. support for his pipeline. Former Vermont Governor Dr. Howard Dean is the current Chairman of the DNC. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is the principal campaign and fund-raising organization affiliated with the United States Democratic Party. ...


Tamraz had reportedly met reps from the Department of Energy, the Department of State, and the Department of Commerce before he met Sheila Heslin. Sheila Heslin is a National Security Council (N.S.C.) staffer and the director of Russian, Ukrainian, and Eurasian affairs.[3] In addition to this she is a leading member of the "Caspian Energy Working Group", an inter-agency consulting group which was trying to negotiate a pipeline that would compete with Tamraz's proposed Baku-Nakhichevan-Turkey line. The United States Department of Energy (DOE) is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government responsible for energy policy and nuclear safety. ... The United States Department of State, often referred to as the State Department, is the Cabinet-level foreign affairs agency of the United States government, equivalent to foreign ministries in other countries. ... The United States Department of Commerce is a Cabinet department of the United States government concerned with promoting economic growth. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Heslin's meeting with Tamraz produced a memo by both the N.S.C. office of Russian, Ukrainian, and Eurasian affairs and the Caspian Energy Working Group. The memo stated that Tamraz should be denied access to high-level government officials. Both on the grounds of the frivolousness of his presentation (which was deemed by Heslin to be incomplete) and his loose affiliation to Abu Nidal.[3] Abu Nidal in 1976 in a photograph released by the Israeli army, one of only a handful of photographs of him known to exist. ...


Amazingly, the same week Heslin met Tamraz and issued her memo, in September of 1994, Tamraz's friend Harut Sassounian met with Al Gore during a D.N.C. breakfast. Sassounian arranged a breakfast meeting between Vice-President Gore and Tamraz on October 5th, 1994. Although the meeting brought no conclusive changes in the Clinton-Gore Caspian Energy position nor the State Department's condemnation of Tamraz's pipeline, it did bring him a measure of notoriety. He continued high-level meetings with U.S. officials for another year until he gave up, during that time meeting with Gore at least five times.[3] Albert Arnold Gore, Jr. ... Clinton is an English surname which may refer to a number of persons or places. ... The United States Department of State, often referred to as the State Department, is the Cabinet-level foreign affairs agency of the United States government, equivalent to foreign ministries in other countries. ...


In 1995 he abandoned the White House and went on to receive all of the support he needed for his pipeline- from Saudi Arabia and Libya.[3]


The Near-Completion of the Baku-Nakhichevan-Turkey line

In 1995 Tamraz approached the former head of Saudi Intelligence, Kamal Adham, with a document that he had left over from his days in Lebanon- a memo by the KidderPeabody company to Intra Bank, identifying one of their share holders, Ahmad Al-Dur, as Kamal Adham.[1] Tamraz used this document as negotiating leverage to be involved with a Saudi contract on the Red Sea- a line running to the Mediterranean through Egypt.[1] Location of the Red Sea The Red Sea is an inlet of the Indian Ocean between Africa and Asia. ...


The same year, Amoco was preparing to shut down its Italian refineries and distribution networks, due to a labor problem. Using his connection to Adham, Tamraz met with Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi, dictator of Libya, persuading him to buy all of Amoco's downstream facilities. He used his contacts in Sicily to broker the deal and lent his name to the Libyan state-owned oil company, spreading the fame of Tamoil.[1] The American Oil Company, or Amoco, was a global chemical and oil company, founded in Baltimore in 1910 and incorporated in 1922 by Louis Blaustein and his son Jacob, but now part of BP. The firms early innovations include the gasoline tanker truck and the drive-through filling station. ... Colonel Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi1 (Arabic:   ) (born c. ... Sicily (Sicilia in Italian and Sicilian) is an autonomous region of Italy and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 25,708 km² (9,926 sq. ...


With his extra capital from the Saudi and Libyan deals, Tamraz approached the Baku-Nakhichevan-Turkey line with new vigor. He decided to side-step his conflict with the U.S. government and step up his lobbying efforts in Turkey. His first contacts in Turkey were the Grey Wolves, an ultra-nationalist group. Through them he met with Ozer Ciller, the husband of Tansu Çiller- the Prime Minister of Turkey. Ozer Ciller and Roger Tamraz started a company named Emperyal, which opened dozens of casinos in Turkmenistan. It was sponsored by Botas, the Turkish state oil company, a deal supported by the office of Tansu Çiller.[1] Grey Wolves (Bozkurtlar in Turkish) is the youth organization of the Turkish Nationalist Movement Party (Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi, MHP), an ultra-nationalist[1] movement founded by Alparslan TürkeÅŸ in 1969. ... Tansu Çiller Tansu Penbe Çiller (IPA: (born 9 October 1946) is an economist and politician in Turkey. ... A prime minister is the most senior minister of a cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. ... Tansu Çiller Tansu Penbe Çiller (IPA: (born 9 October 1946) is an economist and politician in Turkey. ...


The actions of Emperyal resulted in Tamraz starting yet another company- Lapis. Lapis's single business transaction was to provide a ninety-five million dollar signing bonus to each of its founding members, who are named as follows: Ozer Ciller, Tansu Çiller, Roger Tamraz, Saparmurat Niyazov, and Heydar Aliyev.[3] [1] Tansu Çiller Tansu Penbe Çiller (IPA: (born 9 October 1946) is an economist and politician in Turkey. ... Saparmurat Atayevich Niyazov (Turkmen: , Russian: [Saparmurat Ataevič Niâzov]) (b. ... Heydar Alirza oglu Aliyev (HeydÉ™r Əlirza oÄŸlu Əliyev in Azerbaijani) (sometimes transliterated as Heidar Aliev or Geidar Aliev from the Russian Гейдар Алиев) (May 10, 1923? - December 12, 2003) served as president of Azerbaijan for the New Azerbaijan Party from June 1993 to October 2003, when his son Ilham Aliyev...


With the signing of Lapis, Tamraz had eradicated almost all of the obstacles to his conceived pipeline. He had the full support of Turkmen President Niyazov (because of the funding he provided his office and his assistance to in cutting the Russians out of Turkmenistan), he had paid off Turkey and Azerbaijan (by signing in Azerbaijan's President, Heydar Aliyev and Turkey's Prime Minister, Tansu Çiller, into Lapis,) and he had circumvented U.S. opposition by hiding behind Turkey's Botas company.[3] Saparmurat Atayevich Niyazov Turkmenbashy [ssap-ar-moor-at ni-yaz-obv] (Turkmen Saparmyrat Nyýazow Türkmenbaşy) (born February 19, 1940) has been the most powerful figure in Turkmenistan since 1985. ... Heydar Alirza oglu Aliyev (HeydÉ™r Əlirza oÄŸlu Əliyev in Azerbaijani) (sometimes transliterated as Heidar Aliev or Geidar Aliev from the Russian Гейдар Алиев) (May 10, 1923? - December 12, 2003) served as president of Azerbaijan for the New Azerbaijan Party from June 1993 to October 2003, when his son Ilham Aliyev... Tansu Çiller Tansu Penbe Çiller (IPA: (born 9 October 1946) is an economist and politician in Turkey. ...


At that point the deal was ready to be brokered and in all likelihood would have, if not for the attempted coup of Azerbaijan in 1995. Aliyev had nearly been driven out of office by Rovshan Javadov, his interior minister. Within two weeks of the coup, two Turkish intelligence officers working in Azerbaijan were arrested and tortured for their part in the coup.[3] Turkey officially supported Aliyev but the two agents, under interrogation, reported that they were paid personally by Tansu Çiller out of a secret slush fund. This confession was enough to persuade Aliyev to pull out of the deal.[3] Rovshan Javadov (also spelt as Javadov) (1951 – 1995) // Rovshan Javadov was born on October 19th 1951 in Goychay. ... Tansu Çiller Tansu Penbe Çiller (IPA: (born 9 October 1946) is an economist and politician in Turkey. ...


Tamraz Under Investigation

Having have just completed a series of extraordinary business deals, but wasting most of the profits on government bribes, Tamraz was left with no choice but to seek the approval of the U.S. again to swing Aliyev towards accepting the pipeline. His return to the United States was marked with a frenzy of campaign finance for the 1996 Clinton-Gore campaign. The total sum of donations from the end of 1995 to 1996 is $300,000 dollars, all to the Democratic Party. President Clinton finally did give his approval of the pipeline, by now estimated to be a 2.5 billion dollar project.[1] Heydar Alirza oglu Aliyev (Heydər Əlirza oğlu Əliyev in Azerbaijani) (sometimes transliterated as Heydar Aliev or Geidar Aliev from the Russian Гейдар Алиев) (May 10, 1923? - December 12, 2003) served as president of Azerbaijan for the New Azerbaijan Party from June 1993 to October 2003, when his son Ilham Aliyev... This article needs additional references or sources to facilitate its verification. ... Clinton is an English surname which may refer to a number of persons or places. ...


The tacit approval of Clinton led to a senior White House aide, Thomas McLarty, contacing a U.S. Department of Energy official. Naturally, Sheila Heslin responded with a formal protest and a request of investigation on Don Fowler, who accepted Tamraz's donations, as well as Robert Baer, a mid-level C.I.A. operative in charge of South Eurasia Group, the man who originally drafted the C.I.A. report on Tamraz.[1] Clinton is an English surname which may refer to a number of persons or places. ... For other uses, see White House (disambiguation). ... Thomas McLarty(Born: 1946), American, is president of Kissinger-McLarty Associates and a senior advisor to the Carlyle Group. ... The United States Department of Energy (DOE) is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government responsible for energy policy and nuclear safety. ... Robert Baer, also known as Bob Baer (born July 1, 1952), is an author and former case officer at the CIA. Reared in Aspen, Colorado, Robert Baer aspired to become a professional skier. ... CIA, see CIA (disambiguation). ... CIA, see CIA (disambiguation). ...


Robert Baer, in an attempt to clear his name, began an in-depth investigation on the holdings of Tamraz. In the Senate Judiciary committee, Tamraz had claimed that the $300,000 given to the Democrats were the liquefied holdings of his company, Aviscapital, based out of New York. Aviscapital proved to be a company run out of a Lawyer's office. Tamraz's additional claim, that a portion of Aviscapital's assets had been transferred to Oil Capital Limited proved to also be untrue after the Panamean government sued Oil Capital Limited and had their settlement deferred by the verification of three independent finance groups that Oil Capital Limited's holdings were priced at 23 cents.[1] Robert Baer, also known as Bob Baer (born July 1, 1952), is an author and former case officer at the CIA. Reared in Aspen, Colorado, Robert Baer aspired to become a professional skier. ... A senate is a deliberative body, often the upper house or chamber of a legislature. ... NY redirects here. ...


Wondering where Tamraz had spent all of his money and where he had come up with the money to fund the Democratic Party if he was broke, Baer followed Tamraz's trail of 1995. There he found the Lapis incident, through intelligence at the embassy in Ankara and independent confirmation from the office of Alexander Lebed with whom he was personally acquainted during his tour in Dushanbe. The campaign money had come from two of Boris Yeltsin's aides, whose reasons for funding the Clinton-Gore campaign are unknown.[1] Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the countrys second largest city after Ä°stanbul. ... Aleksandr Ivanovich Lebed (Алексáндр Ивáнович Лéбедь) ( April 20, 1950– April 28, 2002) was a Russian general and politician. ... Dushanbe (Душанбе), population 562,000 people (2000 census), is the capital of Tajikistan. ... Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin (Russian: ) (February 1, 1931 – April 23, 2007[1]) was the first president of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999. ...


References

  1. INVESTIGATION OF ILLEGAL OR IMPROPER ACTIVITIES IN CONNECTION WITH 1996 FEDERAL ELECTION CAMPAIGNS FINAL REPORT of the COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS SENATE Rept. 105-167 - 105th Congress 2d Session - March 10, 1998
  2. Transcribed Interview of Roger Tamraz, May 13, 1997, pp. 4 & 8-10. HEARING BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY. UNITED STATES SENATE. 105th Congress 2d Session- May 20, 2004
  3. Alejandra Y. Castillo, memorandum to Donald Fowler, Testimony of 105th congress to Federal Trade Commission. July 12, 1995, p. 2 (Ex. 1).

External links

Wikisource has original text related to this article:
1997 Special Investigation in Connection with 1996 Federal Election Campaigns

 
 

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