Belgians charged with smuggling aircraft parts

AP News
Posted: May 17, 2011 7:07 PM
Belgians charged with smuggling aircraft parts

A federal indictment in California claims two Belgian men smuggled helicopter and aircraft parts to Iran.

The indictment says 70-year-old Willy De Greef and 39-year-old Frederic Roland Nicolas Depelchin smuggled millions of dollars' worth of parts to Iran through their companies.

The U.S. attorney's office in San Diego said Tuesday that De Greef was arrested Friday in London by the Metropolitan Police, and the United States will seek extradition. Depelchin is at-large.

The grand jury indictment was handed up in March and unsealed Friday. It alleges the Belgian brokers concealed from U.S. suppliers that the parts were going to Iran _ a violation of federal law unless authorized by the Treasury Department.

The smuggled parts allegedly included helicopter switches and fuel cells.