International Arms Dealer Arrested for Conspiracy to Supply U.S. Fighter Jet Engines to Iran
The Justice Department announced today that a Belgian national and resident of France suspected of international arms dealing for decades, has been arrested in New York on charges alleging that he conspired to illegally export F-5 fighter jet engines and parts from the United States to Iran.
According to the Justice Department, a six-count indictment was returned on August 27, 2009, in the Southern District of Alabama charging Jacques Monsieur, and co-defendant Dara Fotouhi, an Iranian national currently living in France, with conspiracy, money laundering, smuggling, as well as violations of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA).According to the indictment and an affidavit filed in the case, defendants Monsieur and Fotouhi are experienced arms dealers who have been actively working with the Iranian government to procure military items for the Iranian government. More information on Mr. Monsier's "interesting" background as an arms deadler can be found in this 2002 story published by the Center for Public Integrity's International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
The indictment alleges that in 2009, Mr. Monsieur contacted an undercover agent seeking engines for the F-5 fighter jet or the C-130 military transport aircraft for export to Iran. Monsieur began having regular e-mail contact with the undercover agent regarding requested F-5 engines and parts that ultimately led to a purchase order being issued from a front company in Kyrgyzstan. The purchase order requested that the parts be exported to the United Arab Emirates for transshipment to Iran. Subsequently, $110,000 was sent by wire transfer from Dubai to a bank account in Alabama as payment for the parts.