Thursday, January 21st, 2021

Justice Department files Iranian forfeiture complaint

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The U.S. Department of Justice recently filed a complaint regarding the forfeiture of a pair of Iranian missile shipments and petroleum seized from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

The Navy seized the missiles in transit to militant groups in Yemen while the 1.1 million barrels of Iranian petroleum was obtained from four foreign-flagged oil tankers bound for Venezuela.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and law enforcement partners investigated the Iranian weapons smuggling network and the illicit shipment of Iranian petroleum. The actions demonstrate a commitment to working with law enforcement partners to stem the flow of illicit weapons, oil, and money from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and other organizations seeking to harm the United States.

“The two forfeiture complaints allege sophisticated schemes by the IRGC to secretly ship weapons to Yemen and fuel to Venezuela, countries that pose grave threats to the security and stability of their respective regions,” John Demers, assistant attorney general for National Security, said. “Iran continues to be a leading state sponsor of terrorism and a worldwide destabilizing force. It is with great satisfaction that I can announce that our intentions are to take the funds successfully forfeited from the fuel sales and provide them to the United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund after the conclusion of the case.”

Per authorities, Navy Central Command (NAVCENT) seized the weapons from two flagless vessels in the Arabian Sea on Nov. 25, 2019, and Feb. 9, 2020, respectively.