BBC: Three arms smugglers who bought equipment for Top Gun-style F-14 fighter jets on eBay to illegally sell on to Iran have been jailed.
Three arms smugglers who bought equipment for Top Gun-style F-14 fighter jets on eBay to illegally sell on to Iran have been jailed.
Mohsen Akhavan Nik, 49, of Ascot, was jailed for five years at Southwark Crown Court heard for his part in the conspiracy to export controlled goods.
His son Mohammad Akhavan Nik, 26, also of Ascot, and Nithish Jaitha, 43, of Oxford, received two and a half years.
The three breached a UK arms embargo to Iran in trying to supply the country.
Mohsen Nik was also disqualified as a company director for seven years.
The five-week trial heard the trio imported military parts to the UK via the Ebay online auction website.
The father and son, who were granted political asylum in the UK having apparently fled from Iran in 1995, together with Nithish Jaitha, sourced parts in the US through eBay to avoid export controls.
The court heard the items were then shipped to an address in Florida to avoid the need for an export licence.
From there the goods were normally despatched under misleading descriptions to Iran via the UK, Romania or Hong Kong to overcome US export controls and conceal the final destination.
The trio were caught when HM Revenue and Customs officers swooped on a consignment of oxygen cylinders at Heathrow Airport which were bound for Tehran.
They denied the allegations, claiming the equipment was for use in the health sector, specifically for breathing apparatus in an ambulance.
They fabricated documents and trade catalogues to back up their claim but technical experts told the court that this was false.
Peter Millroy, from HM Revenue and Customs, said: "These men were involved in a complex and lucrative conspiracy to supply military equipment to Iran in contravention of a UK arms embargo.
"This is an excellent result dismantling as it does this particular supply route."