Belgian Businessman, Convicted on Charge of Attempting to Ship Aluminum Tubing from the U.S. to Iran Via Malaysia, Is Deported

July 8, 2015

Publication Type: 

  • International Enforcement Actions

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear
  • Military

Mentioned Suspect Entities & Suppliers: 

Related Country: 

  • Malaysia
  • United Arab Emirates

Author: 

Wisconsin Project Staff

Nicholas Kaiga, a Belgian businessman who pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to evade export control regulations, was deported from the United States by U.S. immigration authorities on July 7, 2015. Kaiga attempted to export from the United States aluminum tubing used in the aerospace industry to a Malaysian front company, via Belgium, without the required license. The tubing was ultimately destined for an individual in Iran, according to court documents.  

Beginning in November 2007, an individual in Iran attempted to procure 7075 aluminum tubing from an Illinois-based company for export to Super Alloys LLC in the United Arab Emirates. Before issuing a license for the export, an American export control officer traveled to the address of the UAE company and discovered that the only business at that location was an Iranian firm called Sina Mountain General Trading. The license application was subsequently denied and U.S. authorities launched a sting operation in cooperation with the U.S. supplier.

In an effort to get around controls, the Iranian individual changed the end user of the export-controlled 7075 aluminum to Industrial Metals & Commodities SPRL (IMC). IMC is located in Brussels, Belgium and managed by Nicholas Kaiga. Kaiga communicated with an American undercover agent posing as an employee of the U.S. supplier and with the Iranian individual, in an effort to facilitate the transaction. According to Belgian customs officials, the aluminum (6061 was substituted for 7075) arrived in Belgium and was sent on by Kaiga to NBH Industries, a Malaysia-based front company whose primary shareholder is the Iranian individual. In a June 2013 meeting with an American undercover agent in New York, Kaiga confirmed that the shipment of 7075 aluminum had always been intended for the Iranian individual.

Kaiga was arrested in New York on June 25, 2013, and indicted on one count of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and two counts of making false statements on U.S. export control forms.  He pleaded guilty in December 2014 to one count of attempting to violate export control regulations, with the remaining counts against him dismissed.  He was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison.  On June 8, 2015, a federal immigration judge ordered Kaiga to be deported. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported Kaiga to Brussels on July 7, 2015. 

Footnotes: 

1. Criminal Complaint, United States of America v. Nicholas Kaiga, Case Number 1:13-cr-00531, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, June 26, 2013.

2. “Belgian Man Charged in Chicago with Attempting to Illegally Export Aluminum Tubes From US to a Malaysian Front for Individual in Iran,” News Release, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), October 30, 2013.

3. Plea Agreement, United States of America v. Nicholas Kaiga, Case Number 1:13-cr-00531, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, December 4, 2014.

4. Judgment, United States of America v. Nicholas Kaiga, Case Number 1:13-cr-00531, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, March 4, 2015.

5. "ICE deports Belgian man convicted in Chicago of attempting to illegally export controlled nuclear non-proliferation items ultimately destined for Iran," News Release, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), July 8, 2015.

Related Library Documents: