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Florida Independent Distributors Plead Guilty to Exporting Prohibited Aircraft Parts to Syria

Kristal Snider
ERAI, Inc.

In October 2016 owners and employees of AW-Tronics, LLC, a Florida-based independent distributor, were 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 which are goods with both civilian and military applications.

On October 3, 2017 three of the named defendants, Ali Caby, Arash Caby and Marjan Caby, pleaded guilty for their role in the scheme and now await sentencing scheduled for mid-December. They face a statutory maximum sentence of up to 5 years in prison, 3 years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

The indictment laid 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. The Treasury Department says the government-run airline transports weapons and ammunition in conjunction with the Hezbollah extremist organization and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

Arash Caby’s hearing proceedings revealed the government’s investigation uncovered other illegal transactions including the shipment of military items identified as air navigation equipment to China.

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. The Cabys, including Catherine Caby aka Catherine Kafi-Keramati who was 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.

The Cabys’ companies started operating more than ten years ago grossing over $60 million in sales. The companies have sold over 500,000 aviation parts worldwide and had 720 active customers and over 100 employees. The number of customers has significantly diminished, the number of employees has dropped to eleven and the Bulgaria office has closed but the company remains in business.i

Additional Reading:

Indictment
Department of Justice Press Release
Arash Caby Hearing Proceedings
Arrest Warrant Ali Caby aka Alex Caby
Plea Agreement Ali Caby aka Alex Caby
Arrest Warrant Arash Caby aka Axel Caby
Plea Agreement Arash Caby aka Axel Caby
Arrest Warrant Marjan Caby
Plea Agreement Marjan Caby

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iArash Caby Hearing Proceedings Page 10



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