By: Danielle Hatch
On December 16, 2019 Issam Shammount of Jordan and Abdullah Alhay of Saudi Arabia were charged with violating US export laws and sanctions related to Iran. The two men worked together to obtain US origin aircrafts and parts to provide to end-users in Iran, specifically Mahan Air (placed on Denied Parties Lists and SDN List in 2011). Shammount and Alhay would conceal from companies and financial institutions that the items they were purchasing were destined for Mahan Air. There were other unnamed individuals involved that worked together to hide the purchases and deliveries that occurred between 2012 and 2015.
A related civil complaint in rem against $17,035,935 in funds for benefit of Al Naser Airlines has now been unsealed related to this case (filed in 2017). The funds were involved in this scheme to launder funds into the US in order to purchase airplanes for Mahan Air. There is also a criminal forfeiture allegation against the funds and nine airplanes that are included in the indictment against Shammout and Alhay.