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  1. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
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  3. Seized Weapons From HSI Washington, D.C. Investigation Transferred to Ukrainian Forces

Seized Weapons From HSI Washington, D.C. Investigation Transferred to Ukrainian Forces

Release Date: April 12, 2024

WASHINGTON — The U.S. government transferred a shipment of weapons seized from Iran, intended to arm terrorist forces in Yemen, into the hands of the Ukrainian government April 4 to help equip Ukrainian armed forces in their fight against Russian invaders.

The weapons were the fruits of an investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C. and the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS).

“This weapons transfer underscores the importance of our investigation,” said HSI Washington, D.C. Special Agent in Charge Derek W. Gordon. “We not only disrupted an obscene amount of weapons from reaching their intended destination, where they could have the potential to do untold amounts of damage, but at the same time, we aided the armed forces of an ally nation as they fight to secure their freedom from an aggressive neighbor. This action highlights the lengths to which HSI Washington, D.C. and our law enforcement partners will go to dismantle terror networks while supporting freedom at home and abroad.”

The shipment of weapons included more than 5,000 AK-47s, assault rifles, sniper rifles, RPG-7s and more than 500,000 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition. The transfer constitutes enough materiel to equip one Ukrainian brigade with small arms and will help Ukraine defend against invading Russian forces.

U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) naval forces seized the armaments from four flagless vessels in the Arabian Sea enroute from Iran and destined for Yemen, where sanctioned groups including Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps directly support the Houthi movement.

“Civil forfeiture remains an important tool in our efforts to stop or disrupt terrorist organizations like the IRGC,” said U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves. “Its use in this case demonstrates the power of our counter-threat financing actions to strip legal control of assets from bad actors. We are proud to have been able to work with CENTCOM in this matter, and through them to further the efforts of partners like the Ukrainian armed forces in their fight to maintain freedom.”

HSI Washington, D.C. and the DCIS Mid-Atlantic field office continue to lead the larger investigation of the Iranian weapons-smuggling network, with substantial assistance from the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command in conducting the seizures. The cases are being prosecuted by the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

Members of the public can report crimes or suspicious activity by dialing the HSI Tip Line at 877-4-HSI-TIP (877-447-4847). The HSI Tip Line is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Learn more about HSI Washington, D.C.’s mission to increase public safety in our communities on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @HSI_DC.

Last Updated: 04/22/2024
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