U.S. Attorney Announces Charges Against Co-Director Of Think Tank For Acting As An Unregistered Foreign Agent, Trafficking In Arms, Violating U.S. Sanctions Against Iran, And Making False Statements To Federal Agents

July 10, 2023

Publication: 

U.S. Department of Justice

Related Country: 

  • Brazil
  • China
  • Cyprus
  • Israel
  • Kenya
  • Libya
  • Qatar
  • United Arab Emirates

The U.S. Department of Justice unsealed an eight-count indictment against Gal Luft, a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen who serves as the co-director of a Maryland-based think tank. The indicment accuses Luft of acting as an unregistered foreign agent for China. Luft allegedly attempted to broker several arms deals, including a deal for Chinese companies to sell anti-tank guided missile launchers, grenade launchers, and mortar rounds to Libya; a deal involving aerial bombs and rockets for the United Arab Emirates; a deal for Chinese companies to sell unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to Kenya; and a deal involving weapon sales to Qatar. He is also accused of attempting to broker Iranian oil sales, particularly to Chinese customers. He and his associates allegedly sought to obfuscate the origin of the oil by claiming it was from Brazil or the UAE. Luft was arrested in Cyprus on February 17, 2023, but fled after being released on bail. He remains at large.