WASHINGTON -- Abdulamir Mahdi, a Canadian businessman, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court, in Orlando, Florida, to a criminal indictment charging him with violating U.S. export controls by diverting industrial equipment to Iran and Iraq, Commerce Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement F. Amanda DeBusk announced.
Mahdi, 47, used two Canadian companies, OTS Refining Equipment Corporation and Tech-Link Development Corporation, which he operated, to buy U.S. oil-field and industrial equipment for diversion to Iran and Iraq. U.S. export laws prohibit the export of industrial equipment to Iran and Iraq because of their sponsorship of international terrorism.
U.S. District Court Judge Anne Conway scheduled Mahdi’s sentencing for November 19, 1999. Mahdi faces a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.
Mahdi’s guilty plea is the result of a three year investigation by BXA’s Export Enforcement office in Miami. DeBusk also credited the shut down of Mahdi’s diversion network to an alert manufacturer who reported a suspicious inquiry, federal prosecutors A. B. Phillips and Ana Escobar of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Orlando, the U.S. Customs Service, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The Department of Commerce, through its Bureau of Export Administration, administers export controls for reasons of national security, foreign policy, nonproliferation and short supply. BXA’s Office of Export Enforcement assists U.S. industry in complying with U.S. export laws and investigates violations of those laws.
In April of 2002 the Bureau of Export Administration (BXA) changed its name to the Bureau of Industry and Security(BIS). For historical purposes we have not changed the references to BXA in the legacy documents found in the Archived Press and Public Information.