US federal court indicts Japanese national for nuclear trade with Iran

Takeshi Ebisawa, aged 60, along with his accomplice Somphop Singhasiri, aged 61, were initially indicted in April 2022 for their involvement in global drug trafficking and firearms crimes, as announced by the Department of Justice

US federal court indicts Japanese national for nuclear trade with Iran
The Japan News
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On Wednesday, a Manhattan federal court disclosed an updated indictment against a Japanese citizen, accused of attempting to trade nuclear substances with Iran, some of which could be utilized in making a nuclear weapon, and seeking to acquire a vast arsenal of arms for a terrorist organization.

Takeshi Ebisawa, aged 60, along with his accomplice Somphop Singhasiri, aged 61, were initially indicted in April 2022 for their involvement in global drug trafficking and firearms crimes, as announced by the Department of Justice, reports the Daily Wire.

The duo is confronting multiple life sentences across an extensive range of criminal allegations.

In the latest updated indictment, Ebisawa faces charges for his attempt to sell nuclear materials to someone he believed was a general from Iran.

“The defendant stands accused of conspiring to sell weapons grade nuclear material and lethal narcotics from Burma, and to purchase military weaponry on behalf of an armed insurgent group,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “It is chilling to imagine the consequences had these efforts succeeded and the Justice Department will hold accountable those who traffic in these materials and threaten U.S. national security and international stability.”

Ebisawa informed an undercover DEA agent and a confidential informant for the DEA that he possessed a substantial amount of nuclear materials he intended to sell, substantiating his claim by sharing photos showing rocky substances alongside Geiger counters registering radiation levels.

As part of the investigation, the undercover agent agreed “to help Ebisawa broker the sale of his nuclear materials to [the undercover agent’s] associate, who was posing as an Iranian general (the General), for use in a nuclear weapons program.”

Ebisawa provided the undercover agent with a list of weaponry he aimed to acquire for arming a terrorist faction in Burma.

The indictment references several accomplices without naming them directly. The desired arsenal included 5,000 AK-47 rifles with a million rounds of 7.62x39mm ammunition and 25,000 magazines; 5,000 M-16 rifles with a million rounds of 5.56x45mm ammunition and 25,000 magazines; 20 M-60 machine guns with over 100,000 rounds of various 7.62x51mm ammunition types, numerous mortars with thousands of rounds, sniper rifles, RPGs, and surface-to-air missiles.

“With the assistance of Thai authorities, the Nuclear Samples were seized and subsequently transferred to the custody of U.S. law enforcement authorities,” the statement said. “A U.S. nuclear forensic laboratory examined the Nuclear Samples and determined that both samples contain detectable quantities of uranium, thorium and plutonium. In particular, the laboratory determined that the isotope composition of the plutonium found in the Nuclear Samples is weapons-grade, meaning that the plutonium, if produced in sufficient quantities, would be suitable for use in a nuclear weapon.”

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