FBI evidence that motivated US decision to seize Emtrasur plane

FBI evidence that motivated US decision to seize Emtrasur plane

This measure was taken by US justice after receiving evidence that Iran sold Boeing in violation of US laws and in a dark-headed operation.

Emtrasur's Boeing 747 is being held in Argentina by order of Judge Federico Villena.
Emtrasur’s Boeing 747 is being held in Argentina by order of Judge Federico Villena.

A United States justice ordered a temporary seizure Boeing 747 which remains in Argentina after receiving evidence that the Venezuelans acquired the plane from the Iranians in violation of US law and through a covert triangulation in the United Arab Emirates, according to documents provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.FBI) before the federal court in Washington and to which he agreed .

The decision by federal judge G. Michael Harvey received a request from FBI Special Agent Adam Mastrian after analyzing it on July 19. It allowed the Venezuelan company Emtrasur to temporarily seize the Boeing 747 – and until the substance of the matter is resolved – “at any time of the day or night”, ignoring the seriousness of the request and the risk of delay. .

Special Agent Mastrian’s request was filed in court docket number 22-sz-16 and was processed under reservation until this week. He compiled a brief that he corroborated with data, photographs and other evidence he said he received from Argentine officials, other FBI agents and various US departments in Washington and Miami, among others, according to the affidavit.

His brief, Mastrian explained, is based on “a review of reports and files, including those from the Commerce Department, the FBI, the Argentine government, the Boeing Company, airline databases, court documents, public access and other security information.” agencies.

The cooperation of the Argentine authorities was reflected, for example, in the sending of copies of the so-called “Crew Mini Log Flight Operation”, a type of log that contains details of each flight of the aircraft in Latin America, the Middle East. in Europe and Asia, before and after it was bought by Emtrasur, but even after being transferred to Venezuelan hands, it continued to be marked “Mahan Air”.

This type of log provided data, for example, on the March 18 flight between Tehran and Belgrade, with annotations and observations in Persian, as well as others between Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico, and Iran.

This information as a reconstruction Managed between US investigators, the State Department, the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the International Cooperation Area of ​​the Prosecutor’s Office, and officials responsible for facilitating the investigation at the Lomas de Zamora Federal Court. The judge Federico Villena.

Based on information gathered in recent months, an FBI agent revealed that Emtrasur’s controlling company, Conviasa. Paid 8 million euros with a Boeing 747 currently operating under registration YV-3531. The operation took effect in July 2021, when he transferred funds to Lance Tech, a company based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which supposedly operates in the tourism industry.

Lomas de Zamora Federal Judge Federico Villena, at the helm of the case investigating the plane's crew
Lomas de Zamora Federal Judge Federico Villena, at the helm of the case investigating the plane’s crew

As reconstructed by the FBI, Conviasa took control of the plane just three months later, in October 2021, with the express provision that “technical and mechanical assistance” would be provided by the Civil Aviation Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran. .

U.S. investigators also confirmed that one of the Iranian crew members detained in Argentina is Gholamreza Ghasemi, whom they identified as “a former commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and a shareholder and board member of an OFAC-sanctioned Iranian airline.” , Qeshm Fars Air”. Then they recalled that the Islamic Guard was categorized as a terrorist organization for supporting “covert operations and creating instability in the Middle East” and that Qeshm Fars Air and Mahan Air “transport personnel and weapons to Syria.”

Along the same lines, American investigators informed Judge Harvey that in the log that appeared on the Boeing 747 now owned by Emtrasur, there were also entries related to flights this year, but another Boeing 747, registration EP-FAA, which belongs. Qesham Fars Air. In particular, between the international airports of Damascus, Syria and Tehran.

With these types of arguments and evidence, Agent Mastrian recalled that current United States law gives his government prior authority to sell certain assets – including aircraft and their spare parts – and also gives it the right to prohibit the sale. – or even reselling to third parties – the same assets. In particular, he explained when these operations “may significantly contribute to the development of the military potential of other countries or may harm the foreign policy or national security of the United States.”

According to the FBI special agent, the Iranian airline Mahan Air had no right to sell the Boeing to third parties because it had been under sanctions since 2008, nor did Emtrasur require permission from the United States government to fly and transfer the plane. Goods from Russia and Iran, among other countries.

For the United States, the pilot is Gholamreza Ghasemi
For the United States, the pilot, Gholamreza Ghasemi, is “a former commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and a shareholder and member of the board of directors of Qeshm Fars Air, an OFAC-sanctioned Iranian airline.”

For more than seven years as a magistrate in the federal court seat in the capital of the United States, since he was appointed during the presidency. Barack Obama, Judge Harvey issued a temporary seizure order, with the condition that whoever enforces it must prepare an inventory of everything that will be seized and send it to him as soon as it takes effect. This is while the United States government is promoting a lawsuit seeking the final confiscation of the plane.

This is not the first sensitive case for Judge Harvey. Previously, he handled national security and terrorism cases in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C. And as a magistrate, he directed criminal charges against one of the mobs responsible for the January 2021 attack on Capitol Hill, denying the release of a man who fired bullets into Cuba’s diplomatic headquarters in the US capital and ordering his arrest. Emma Coronel, wife of a drug addict Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Source: La Nacion