NEW YORK —An Egyptian corporation and its mangers pleaded guilty Wednesday to violating U.S. export regulations in connection with the attempted shipment of munitions samples from New York City to Egypt. The plea agreement follows an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS).
Egyptian citizens Malak Neseem Swares Boulos, 43, and Amged Kamel Yonan Tawdraus, 33, the leaders of AMA United Group, an Egyptian procurement agent, entered a guilty plea to violating the Arms Export Control Act. Boulos and Tawdraus admitted to failing to file required export information relating to the international shipment of a landmine and multiple bomb bodies.
Boulos and Tawdraus were arrested after attempting to close a deal to acquire and export the items, which were included on the United States Munitions List and regulated by the U.S. Department of State.
“These defendants failed to comply with the strict regulations that govern the export of dangerous munitions,” stated United States Attorney Loretta Lynch. “Today’s convictions should help ensure that those who refuse to follow these obligations should expect to face serious consequences, including individual and corporate penalties.”
“This investigation demonstrates the ongoing commitment that the DCIS has to pursue individuals who are intent on acquiring and illegally exporting military grade munitions,” said Special Agent in Charge Craig W. Rupert, DCIS Northeast field office. “DCIS will continue to work with its law enforcement partners, such as HSI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, to methodically and successfully investigate these types of allegations and protect America’s Warfighters.”
Beginning in February 2011, the defendants began trying to obtain munitions items on behalf of AMA United Group’s client, a factory in Cairo, Egypt. The items the defendants sought included a landmine as well as bomblet bodies and “trumpet liners,” two components that are integral to manufacturing the housings for explosives in an aerial warhead. In July 2011, the defendants traveled from Cairo to New York City to inspect the items. On July 1, 2011, three principals of AMA United Group attempted to ship samples to its client in Egypt. Defendants Boulos and Tawdraus failed to file any export information in connection with the attempted shipment. The requirement to file accurate information regarding the contents of international shipments is one layer of regulatory oversight pertaining to protecting the U.S. national security and diplomatic interests.
When sentenced, defendants Tawdraus and Boulos face up to five years in prison, as well as criminal forfeiture and fines. Each of the defendants also faces export sanctions, including the denial of export privileges by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and the U.S. Department of State.