Tuesday 23 January 2018

Firm in alleged Iran trade deal to pay CAB €1.5m

Tom Brady Security Editor

AN aviation company at the centre of an international row over allegedly exporting helicopter engines and aircraft parts to Iran has consented to pay more than €1.5m to the State as part of an agreement with the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).

The deal between Cab and Mac Aviation, of Drumcliffe, Co Sligo, was announced in the High Court yesterday.

The full terms of the settlement were not revealed.

But an agreed statement confirmed that the company would pay €1.5m to the Finance Minister following action by Cab under the Proceeds of Crime Act, 1996.

Mac Aviation also consented to making a payment to the Exchequer to settle all outstanding tax and social welfare issues.

The court heard that the agreement between the two sides had been reached without any admission by the company to criminal or civil liabilities or without any admission to any factual issues by or on behalf of the company.

The High Court had also earlier ruled that part of the hearing dealing with proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act should be held in public rather than in camera.

Last year, an indictment was made public in Washington alleging that Mac Aviation, owner Thomas McGuinn (73), of Cloonmull House, Drumcliffe, Co Sligo, his son and sales/procurement director Sean (41), and commercial manger Sean Byrne violated US laws restricting exports to Iran.

The indictment claimed that Mac Aviation had shipped some of the parts to an Iranian military firm, which the United States government believed to be "owned or controlled by entities involved in Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programme".

Prosecutors alleged that, between August 2005 and July 2008, Mac Aviation sought orders in Iran for US-made aircraft engines and parts and then requested the components from US-based companies, including Rolls Royce in Indiana.

The indictment said the Irish company purchased 17 helicopter engines for $4.27m (€3.2m) on behalf of an Iranian company.

The charges also alleged that Mac Aviation had concealed the ultimate purchaser's identity from Rolls Royce and had the parts shipped to third countries, including Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates, before sending them on to Iran.

Irish Independent

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