Jakarta – An Indonesian businessman and three Indonesia-based companies have been charged by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia with violating US sanctions against Iran by exporting US-origin goods to the Tehran-based Mahan airline.
Sunarko Kuntjoro and the three companies – PT MS Aero Support (PTMS), PT Kandiyasa Energi Utama (PTKEU) and PT Antasena Kreasi (PTAK) – were charged with an eight-count indictment for violating the US export laws, the US Department of Justice said in a press statement on Tuesday.
The 68-year-old businessman, who is also the PTMS president director, and the companies in question were allegedly involved in a conspiracy to unlawfully export "US origin goods and technology" to the embargoed country of Iran and "to defraud the United States".
According to the indictment, Sunarko conspired with Mahan Air and carried out the exports between March 2001 and July 2018 without obtaining valid licenses from the US Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control and the US Department of Commerce.
"The conspiracy involved transporting goods owned by Mahan through PTMS, PTKEU and PTAK to the United States for repair and re-export to Mahan in Iran and elsewhere," the statement read.
The defendants were accused of sanction-breaking, money laundering and making false statements, as well as violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and some other regulations.
The Iranian aviation business was listed as a Specially Designated National and Blocked Person (SDN) by the US Department of Treasury in 2011.
The US had slapped a trade embargo against Iran, banning the export of US products to Iran without specific authorization from the US Department of Treasury.
With these multiple charges, Sunarko faces possible punishment that includes, among others, a statutory maximum sentence of five years' imprisonment and a US$250,000 fine for conspiracy in violating the IEEPA and defrauding the US government and a maximum 20 years' imprisonment and a $500,000 fine for conspiracy to launder monetary instruments. (vny)