NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Three men have been arrested in New York, and a fourth was wanted Tuesday night, on charges of arranging to ship a substance that can be used in uranium enrichment to China and Iran.
The conspiracy charges were contained in indictments unsealed Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan. The head of the FBI office in New York said the shipment of carbon fiber was a violation of U.S. laws whether the motivation for shipping them was greed or otherwise.
The suspects were charged with violating embargo and export laws, the Associated Press reported.
Prosecutors said Hamid Reza Hashemi had arranged for the shipment of carbon fire from the United States to his company in Tehran since 2007. Hashemi, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen who lives in Iran, was arrested upon entering the U.S. at John F. Kennedy International Airport Sunday, the AP reported.
Also arrested was Peter Gromacki, a U.S. citizen who lived and worked in Orange County and was charged with arranging the export of more than 6,000 pounds of carbon fiber from the U.S. to Belgium so it could be shipped to China, the AP reported.
And Iranian citizen Amir Abbas Tamimi, was also arrested at Kennedy Airport back on Oct. 5, after allegedly trying to arrange for the export from the U.S. to Iran of military helicopter parts, the AP reported.
A fourth suspect – Turkish citizen Murat Taskiran – was still a fugitive Wednesday. He was also charged in the carbon fiber plot, the AP reported.
A Homeland Security official says the scam was shut down as part of the government’s “cat and mouse” game with people who try to break U.S. laws to ship sensitive military grade-technology to countries such as Iran and China.
Hashemi and Tamimi were in federal custody after court appearances, while Gromacki was released on $400,000 bail after a hearing in U.S. District Court in White Plains, the AP reported.
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