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Sunarko Kuntjoro, 68, a citizen of Indonesia, and three Indonesian-based companies, PT MS Aero Support (PTMS), PT Kandiyasa Energi Utama (PTKEU), and PT Antasena Kreasi (PTAK), were charged today in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on Dec. 10, 2019, with violating U.S. export laws related to U.S. sanctions against Iran.
The charges were announced by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers, U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu for the District of Columbia, Special Agent in Charge Nasir Khan, U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security, Office of Export Enforcement Washington Field Office, and Special Agent in Charge Nick Annan, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations San Diego.
An eight-count indictment returned today charges Kuntjoro and PTMS, PTKEU, and PTAK, with conspiracy to unlawfully export U.S.-origin goods and technology to Iran and to defraud the United States. Kuntjoro and PTMS also face charges for unlawful export and attempted export to an embargoed country, conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, and false statements. As set forth in the indictment, the U.S.-origin goods were destined for an Iranian aviation business end user, Mahan Air, and the defendants conspired to make a financial profit for themselves and other conspirators, and to evade export regulations, prohibitions, and licensing requirements of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (ITSR), the Export Administration Regulations, and the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations (GTSR). The United States Department of Treasury designated Mahan Air as Specially Designated National and Blocked Person (SDN) under the GTSR on Oct. 12, 2011.
According to the indictment, between March 2011 and July 2018, Kuntjoro, the majority owner and President Director of PTMS, conspired with Mahan Air; Mustafa Oveici, an Iranian executive for Mahan Air; and others, including an American person and company. Mahan Air was designated an SDN for providing financial, material and technological support to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force. The United States Department of Commerce has placed Mahan on its Denied Parties List and Mustafa Oveici on the Entity List. The conspiracy involved transporting goods owned by Mahan through PTMS, PTKEU and PTAK to the United States for repair and re-export to Mahan in Iran and elsewhere. The conspirators caused the U.S.-origin goods to be exported from the United States without obtaining valid licenses from the United States Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control and the United States Department of Commerce.
On March 15, 1995, the President, pursuant to IEEPA, issued Executive Order No. 12957, finding that “the actions and policies of the Government of Iran constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States” and declaring “a national emergency to deal with the threat.” In subsequent Executive Orders, the President imposed economic sanctions, including a trade embargo, on Iran. The Executive Orders and the ITSR prohibit the exportation, re-exportation, sale, or supply, directly or indirectly, to Iran of any goods, technology, or services from the United States or by a United States person without prior authorization or license from the United States Department of the Treasury, the Office of Foreign Assets Control, located in Washington, D.C.
Kuntjoro faces statutory maximum sentences of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the charge of conspiracy to violate IEEPA and defraud the U.S. government; a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine for each of the individual charges of violating IEEPA; a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine on the charge of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments; and a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the false statement charge. The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by a judge.
The investigation was conducted by special agents from the United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security, Office of Export Enforcement, with assistance from special agents from Homeland Security Investigations in San Diego and Miami.
The details contained in an indictment are mere allegations. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.