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Ontario men arrested for allegedly violating Iran sanctions, money laundering

Protesters chant anti-U.S. slogans during a demonstration against the killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, close to United States' consulate in Istanbul, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020. Iran has vowed "harsh retaliation" for the U.S. airstrike near Baghdad's airport that killed Soleimani, Tehran's top general and the architect of its interventions across the Middle East, as tensions soar in the wake of the targeted killing. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis).

Two Iranian nationals living in Ontario have been arrested for allegedly conspiring to export products to Iran in violation of sanctions, the U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday.

Ameni Yousefi Jam, 33, was arrested in Canada and was scheduled to appear in court in Toronto on Wednesday for extradition proceedings.

Meanwhile, Arash Yousefi Jam was taken into custody by U.S. authorities on Dec. 23. An Iranian resident was also indicted.

In addition to facing charges of violating sanctions on Iran, they were accused of conspiracy to smuggle goods from the U.S., and conspiracy to engage in international money laundering.

Read more: MP says he was unaware of CSIS allegations against Iranian businessman when they met

The suspects conspired to send electrical components, railroad crankshafts and other items to Iran through the United Arab Emirates, and provided “false and misleading information” about the end uses of the goods, U.S. officials said.

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“The defendants deceived U.S. companies, illegally obtained sensitive U.S. items, and transshipped those items through the UAE to Iran in violation of U.S. law,” said John Demers, the assistant attorney general for national security.

U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said the men had “conspired to export highly sophisticated American manufacturing equipment and other American-made items into the arms of the Iranians.”

They face up to 25 years imprisonment $750,000 in fines if convicted.

Stewart.Bell@globalnews.ca

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