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Tappin ‘was big time’ alleges US prosecution

[ March 12, 2012   //   ]

At the bail hearing started last Tuesday, of UK freight forwarder Christopher Tappin,  US prosecutors alleged that was heavily involved in trading with Iran. According to the Mail Online,  A senior investigator for the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement service told a Texas court that the retired director of Orpington-based Brooklands Freight Services had provided fake documents for 50 batteries for Hawk surface-to-air missiles that he was planning to ship to Iran. The also contested his claim that his commission on the deal was a mere £320, instead arguing that he stood to earn around £96,000.

They said thatr they had obtained records from a Cyprus-based British associate of Mr Tappin, Robert Gibson, a showing that before the ‘sting’ operation, mounted by US Customs officers, Mr Tappin had been involved in other breaches of the Iran arms embargo. Previous transactions included an apparent $2 million deal shipped to the UAE and then Iran.

Gibson has already been convicted for his role in the alleged conspiracy and sentenced to 24 months in prison.

Prosecutors also said that after he finally was extradited to El Paso, he attempted to conceal trips to Egypt and the USE that were revealed in stamps when they seized his passport.

Mr Tappin has been accused of attempting to export batteries for Hawk air defence missiles, while he argued that he was the victim of entrapment by US government agents. In December 2005, he arranged a shipment of batteries from the US to the Netherlands but a US agent turned out to be a front for customs agents.

His lawyer, Kent Schaffer, told the BBC that an appeal would be launched against the decision not to grant bail.

 

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