A 64-year-old man from central Israel was arrested Monday at Ben Gurion International Airport at the request of the US. The man was charged in the US for selling embargoed equipment to Iran.
According to a statement released by the Justice Ministry, the suspect – who was arrested while attempting to leave the country – was charged with exporting US military equipment without a license and laundering money.
State prosecutors have filed a request to extend his remand in a bid to give their US counterparts to file an extradition request.
For his part, the accused denies the allegations and said the beginning of his court hearing that "I had no idea an indictment was filed against me in the US."
According the US indictment, between the years 2000-2004, the accused disobeyed a presidential executive order which stipulated restrictions on the export of military equipment used by the US, and failed to secure the required license to do so from the State Department.
In addition, between 2012-2013, the Israeli is accused of playing a role in illegally exporting spare parts for the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II and F-14 jets to the Islamic republic, which also demands a specific license, in this case from the US Treasury Department.
The story was first revealed by the Greek paper Ekathimerini, which first reported about an international investigation against an Israeli arms dealer some two months ago.
According to the report, spare parts for airplanes were sent in a container from the Binyamini area to Iran, via Greece. The arms dealers, the paper reported, have in the past been convicted of similar crimes.
The Justice Ministry echoed the claim in their statement, saying that the suspected had in the past been "convicted in the US of offences relating to exporting military equipment without proper licenses, and thus indicates the danger he poses and that he cannot be trusted. His past convictions and current allegations indicate that his criminal behavior is ongoing."