Two Munitions Dealers Arrested and Charged in Conspiracy to Export Military Aircraft Parts to Iran

WASHINGTON , June 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Defendants Hassan Saied Keshari and Traian Bujduveanu were arrested on charges of conspiring to export military aircraft parts to Iran , announced R. Alexander Acosta , United States Attorney for...


WASHINGTON , June 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Defendants Hassan Saied Keshari and Traian Bujduveanu were arrested on charges of conspiring to export military aircraft parts to Iran , announced R. Alexander Acosta , United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida , Michael Johnson , Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Export Enforcement, Anthony V. Mangione , Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Investigations, and Christopher Amato , Special Agent in Charge of the Pentagon's Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Southeast Field Office. Hassan Saied Keshari and Traian Bujduveanu are charged in a federal Criminal Complaint with conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the United States Iran Embargo, and the Arms Export Control Act for their participation in a conspiracy to export U.S.-made military aircraft parts to Iran .

According to the affidavit filed in support of the Criminal Complaint, Keshari owns and operates Kesh Air International, a business located in Novato, California . Bujduveanu owns and operates Orion Aviation Corp., located in Plantation, Florida . The affidavit alleges that since August 2006 , Keshari and Bujduveanu have procured U.S.-made military aircraft parts in the United States for buyers in Iran and have illegally shipped the parts to a company in Dubai, United Arab Emirates , for shipment to buyers in Iran . Keshari allegedly received the orders for specific parts by e-mail from buyers in Iran . Keshari then requested quotes, usually by e-mail, from Bujduveanu and made arrangements with Bujduveanu for the sale and shipment of the parts to a company in Dubai . From Dubai , the parts were then shipped on to Iran .

Among the aircraft parts that Keshari and Bujduveanu are alleged to have obtained and illegally shipped to buyers in Iran are parts for the CH-53 military helicopter, the F-14 Tomcat fighter jet, and the AH-1 attack helicopter. Keshari is also alleged to have requested quotes for other parts for other military aircraft, including F-4 Phantom aircraft. All of these aircraft are known to be used primarily, if not exclusively, by the Iranian military. Moreover, all of the parts supplied by Keshari and Bujduveanu are manufactured in the United States , are designed exclusively for military use, and have been designated by the United States Department of State as "defense articles" on the United States Munitions List, thus requiring registration and licensing with the DDTC. Neither Keshari nor Bujduveanu are registered or had the required license to ship defense articles to Iran .

Shortly before midnight on Friday, June 20, 2008 , federal agents arrested Keshari at Miami International Airport as he walked off a flight from Atlanta . A search warrant was executed on Kesh Air International, in California , on Friday, June 20, 2008 . Defendant Bujduveanu was arrested at his Plantation, FL , home on Saturday, June 21, 2008 . Federal agents executed a search warrant at Bujduveanu's home and business immediately after his arrest. Agents found boxes of military aircraft parts stored on Bujduvenau's property, including hundreds of parts for the C-130, the F-5, and other military aircraft.

Both defendants made their initial appearances in federal court today before a United States Magistrate Judge. They are scheduled to appear in federal court again on Thursday, June 26, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. for detention hearings.

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