Home >> Business

Metals firm owner arrested for allegedly sending missile powder to Iran

The head of an international metallurgical company has been taken under arrest on charges that he smuggled a specialized powder used in aerospace and in designing missiles to Iran, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

Erdal Kuyumcu and other individuals at the company, Global Metallurgy LLC, colluded to get more than a thousand pounds of the cobalt-nickel metallic powder to export it without federal agency approval, prosecutors said.

If found guilty, Kuyumcu could land in prison for 20 years. Kuyumcu, 44, appeared in federal court Tuesday and was sent to home detention and directed to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, prosecutors said.

According to Global Metallurgy's website, the company provides specialty metal products, services and supply chain solutions and operates in North and South America, Europe and Asia. Last month, four people were accused of charges that they conspired to violate trade sanctions by transferring technical equipment to Iran.

The arrests come after the radical U.S-Iran nuclear deal, in which the U.S. settled to drop charges against 14 Iranian nationals, some of whom were indicted of trying to supply arms and electronic test equipment there. The landmark settlement lead to the lifting of international sanctions after the United Nations confirmed that Iran had restricted its nuclear activities.