New Jersey Residents Arrested in Illegal Aviation Technology Export Scheme

Two individuals face serious charges after allegedly attempting to smuggle an aviation device to the UAE without proper authorization.

In a recent crackdown on illegal exports, Fadi Nammas, 43, of Fairfax, Virginia, and Tara Jamhour, 24, of Rockaway, New Jersey, were arrested for their roles in a scheme to export a critical aviation component, the Air Data Inertial Reference Unit (ADIRU), to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) without the requisite U.S. government licenses. U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger detailed the charges following their arrests this Tuesday.

Nammas and Jamhour reportedly misrepresented their intentions when acquiring the ADIRU from a Vermont-based company, claiming it was for domestic stock purposes for Star Aero, a New Jersey-based aircraft service provider. However, authorities allege that the duo planned to reroute the technology, which is crucial for providing flight data to pilots, to a company in the UAE. The operation involved repackaging the device with falsified documents to conceal its value and description, breaching U.S. export regulations related to missile technology and anti-terrorism.

The charges levied against Nammas and Jamhour include conspiracy to export and smuggle goods, unlawful export of controlled goods, and smuggling. These charges carry potential penalties ranging from five to twenty years in prison, alongside hefty fines up to $1 million.

The case highlights the ongoing efforts by U.S. law enforcement to regulate sensitive technologies and prevent their unauthorized distribution. The investigation was spearheaded by Homeland Security Investigations Newark, with collaboration from several federal agencies. As the legal process unfolds, both defendants remain innocent until proven guilty, and further developments are anticipated in federal court appearances scheduled in Virginia and New Jersey.

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