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Florida Independent Distributors Arrested and Charged with Exporting Prohibited Aircraft Parts to Syria

Kristal Snider
ERAI, Inc.

Owners and employees of AW-Tronics, LLC, a Florida-based independent distributor, have been arrested and charged with exporting prohibited articles to Syria and for their alleged participation in a conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations by exporting dual-use goods. Dual-use goods are classified as articles that have both civilian and military applications.

Ali Caby, aka “Alex Caby”, and Arash Caby, aka “Axel Caby”, were managing partners of AW-Tronics. Marjan Caby, an employee who worked in the Miami, FL office, was an internal auditor responsible for export compliance. Zhelyaz Adreev, Lyubka Hristova, Mihaela Nenova, Iskren Georgiev and Ivan Serfiev were employees working in sales and purchasing positions from AW-Tronics’ Sofia, Bulgaria office. All of the named defendants are alleged to have willfully participated in the scheme that the owners “closely supervised and encouraged".

The indictment, filed in the United States District Court, Southern District of Florida, lays out a history of illegal transactions dating back to 2013. When goods were purchased from US based vendors the end-use declarations falsely listed the destination country as “USA” but would actually ship via DHL from the US to AW-Tronics’ Bulgarian office where they were forwarded on to Syrian Arab Airlines. Payments were then funneled from Syria to a travel agency in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) before being forwarded to accounts belonging to Ali and Arash Caby. For their roles, each defendant has been charged with multiple counts and face lengthy imprisonment sentences and fines in the millions of dollars.

Also charged in the indictment were Adib Zeno, Rizk Ali, Ammar Al Mounajed from Syrian Arab Airlines aka “Syrian Air.”

The Cabys, including Catherine Caby aka Catherine Kafi-Keramati who is not named in the indictment, have owned and operated numerous companies in addition to AW-Tronics including but not limited to: Arrowtronic LLC, Aero Troniks LLC, aka Aerotroniks LLC, Dixie Air Parts Inc. and Factory Direkt LLC.

“An indictment is a formal charging document notifying the defendant of the criminal charges. All persons charged in an indictment are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.”

ERAI will continue to follow this case and provide you with updates.

Additional Reading

Department of Justice Press Release: Eleven Individuals and One Company Charged in Florida With Exporting Prohibited Articles to Syria

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/eleven-individuals-and-one-company-charged-florida-exporting-prohibited-articles-syria

AW-Tronic Indictment

http://www.erai.com/customuploads/AW_Tronics_Indictment.pdf

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