Iran General NewsU.S. hits Dutch firm with Iran-export charges

U.S. hits Dutch firm with Iran-export charges

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Reuters: The U.S. government on Tuesday charged a Dutch company and its owner with selling U.S. aircraft parts to Iran in violation of its trade embargo. WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government on Tuesday charged a Dutch company and its owner with selling U.S. aircraft parts to Iran in violation of its trade embargo.

Aviation Services International B.V., based in Heerhugowaard, Netherlands, bought aircraft equipment from manufacturers in the United States and sold it to Iran without a license, the Justice Department charged in a criminal complaint.

The company’s owner, Robert Kraaipoel, also lied to U.S. inspectors seeking to enforce the embargo, the Justice Department charged.

According to the complaint, the company bought parachutes, navigation equipment, high-grade aluminum and other aircraft parts from U.S. manufacturers in 2006 and 2007 and resold them to Iran. The company sold more than 290 items to Iran in 2006 alone, the department said.

Kraaipoel also used a variety of subsidiary companies to get around the embargo, the complaint added.

A trade embargo in place since 1995 prohibits companies from shipping U.S. goods to Iran without a license from the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, covering everything except humanitarian assistance. Kraaipoel and his companies did not have such a license, according to the complaint.

Kraaipoel is charged with two counts of making false statements and two counts of unlawful attempted export of U.S. goods to Iran. He faces up to 50 years in prison and fines totaling $1 million.

Aviation Services International is also charged with two counts of making false statements and two counts of unlawful attempted export. A subsidiary company, Delta Logistics B.V., is also charged with one count of unlawful attempted export.

The company was not immediately available for comment.

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