PHILADELPHIA — On Thursday, March 21, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers removed a Iranian citizen convicted in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida (SDFL) of conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) for illegally exporting aviation parts and equipment to Syria without obtaining a license or authorization, following an investigation by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), FBI, Department of Commerce, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force.
Ali Caby, aka “Alex Caby”, 41, entered the United States on an unknown date and at an unknown location without admission or parole by an immigration officer.
On Dec. 19, 2017, SDFL convicted Ali Caby of conspiracy to violate IEPPA and to defraud the United States. SDFL sentenced him to 24 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release. Co-defendant Arash Caby, aka “Axel Caby”, 43, was sentenced to 24 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release and a $10,000 fine. Co-defendant Marjan Caby, 34, was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison, followed by two years of supervised release. The defendants had previously pled guilty to the charged conspiracy to violate IEEPA by exporting dual-use goods, that is, articles that have both civilian and military application, without a license to Syrian Air, the Syrian government’s airline, which is an entity designated and blocked by OFAC for transporting weapons and ammunition to Syria in conjunction with Hizballah, a terrorist organization, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
Ali Caby ran the Bulgaria office of AW-Tronics, a Miami export company that was managed by Arash Caby, which shipped and exported various aircraft parts and equipment to Syrian Arab Airlines. Ali Caby and Arash Caby closely supervised and encouraged subordinate employees of AW-Tronics in the willful exportation of the parts and equipment to SDN Syrian Air, whose activities have assisted the Syrian government’s violent crackdown on its people. Marjan Caby, as AW-Tronics’ export compliance officer and auditor, facilitated these exports by submitting false and misleading electronic export information to federal agencies.
On Nov. 21, 2018, Allenwood Medium Federal Correctional Institution (ALM) in Allenwood, Pennsylvania, remanded Ali Caby to ERO Philadelphia custody. ERO Philadelphia issued Ali Caby a notice to appear, charging inadmissibility pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act, as an alien who has at any time after admission engaged in any activity to violate or evade any law prohibiting export from the United States of goods, technology, or sensitive information.
On Jan. 15, 2019, an immigration judge ordered Ali Caby removed from the United States to Bulgaria, or Iran as an alternative. Caby is a citizen of Iran with lawful permanent resident status in Bulgaria.
On Friday, March 22, Ali Caby was turned over to Bulgarian authorities without incident.