Israeli arrested in alleged scheme to ship US military parts to Iran, violate arms export law

The Associated Press
May 15, 2014 02:48 PM

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - An Israeli citizen has been arrested on federal charges in the U.S. that he conspired to illegally ship military parts from the United States to Iran, government prosecutors announced Thursday.

Eliyahu Cohen, 63, of Bnei Brak, Israel, was arrested Monday in his native country on charges of violating arms export laws and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The U.S. is seeking his extradition.

Cohen's attorney in Israel could not be reached for comment Thursday.

The case stems from a long-term investigation into an alleged illegal network of military parts purchasers and brokers.

Cohen and his companies were charged in 2007 in the U.S. with conspiring to violate arms export laws. A grand jury returned an indictment last year adding charges.

Prosecutors say that in 2012 and 2013, Cohen conspired to ship F-4C and F-14 aircraft fighter jet replacement parts from Israel to Iran, via Greece, without U.S. government authorization.

Authorities also allege that between 2000 and 2004, Cohen arranged for the export of Hawk Missile System components from the U.S. The medium-range, surface-to-air missile system is designed to destroy missiles in flight. It is no longer used by the United States but is used by Iran, authorities say.

If convicted of all counts, Cohen faces up to 130 years in prison and a fine of up to $7.5 million.

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