Feds Broke Up Alleged Scheme to Send Surplus Pentagon Gear to Iran

May 21, 2019

Author: 

Adam Rawnsley and Seamus Hughes

Publication: 

The Daily Beast

Related Country: 

  • Turkey
  • United States

In August 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice charged Iranian-American dual citizen Aiden Davidson, also known as Hamed Aliabadi, with money laundering and violating economic sanctions on Iran. The Justice Department has not spoken publicly about the original charges or a superseding indictment filed in January 2019 against a related company. Davidson allegedly shipped nearly $1 million worth of surplus U.S.-origin military equipment via Turkey to Iran using his company Golden Gate International LLC. For some shipments, he listed Stare Logistik, a freight forwarder in Igdir, Turkey, as the recipient, although Babazadeh Trading Corporation in Iran may have been the true recipient. Through a search of Davidson's email, investigators found that he purchased some 2,700 military surplus items, some of which are on the U.S. Department of Commerce Control List, although it is not clear if the more sensitive items were successfully exported to Iran. According to the Justice Department, Davidson allegedly smuggled "electric motors, parts of machinery, pneumatic engines and motors, and hydraulic pumps" to Iran between 2013 and 2017. Davidson has pleaded not guilty and is subject to GPS monitoring while awaiting trial.