Malaysia favoured by Iran arms traders

Report: broker claimed to be buying for Malaysia’s Mindef

By uppercaise

Lack of export controls has made Malaysia a favoured staging post in the clandestine arms trade that helps Iran to circumvent international sanctions on military equipment sales, according to a research group in the United States.

In a report published in May last year, the group examined two major arms deals using Malaysian companies — a publishing firm and a freight forwarder — through whom US-made Rolls-Royce helicopter engines were shipped through Kuala Lumpur International Airport on behalf of Iranian companies acting for Iranian defence industries.

The report also shows that an Irish arms broker who made the purchases had claimed in an email response to Rolls-Royce that the Malaysian Ministry of Defence was the true end user for the engines and that a Malaysian broker had been acting on its behalf.

The research group, Institute for Science and International Studies, said in its report:

Iran maintains extensive state-sponsored smuggling networks that use Iranian domestic companies as fronts to purchase controlled goods overseas under false pretences. Often, Iran arranges for the shipment of controlled goods through countries where export controls are poorly enforced. Iran has increasingly turned to Malaysia, where export controls are non-existent, as a transshipment point for illicit procurements. It also often uses the UAE as a transshipment point.

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