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Press Release

Bulgarian National Arrested for Conspiracy to Defraud the United States and Illegally Export Prohibited Articles to Syria in Violation of U.S. Export Control Laws

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Zhelyaz Andreev, 29, a Bulgarian national, was arrested pursuant to an Interpol Red Notice based on an Indictment charging him with: conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Government and substantive violations of the Syria Trade Embargo as enforced through the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA); and the U.S. Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (OFAC) designation of Syrian Arab Airlines, aka Syrian Air, as a Specially Designated National (SDN) whose assets are blocked and with whom U.S. nationals are prohibited from transacting business.

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, U.S. Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg for the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge Robert F. Lasky of the FBI’s Miami Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Robert Luzzi of the Department of Commerce’s Office of Export Enforcement (DOC) Miami Field Office, and the members of the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), made the announcement. 

Andreev was charged with conspiracy to violate IEEPA and the OFAC regulations by exporting dual-use goods, that is, articles that have both civilian and military application, to Syrian Arab Airlines, the Syrian government’s airline, which is an entity designated and blocked by OFAC for transporting weapons and ammunition to Syria in conjunction with Hizballah, a terrorist organization, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. 

According to court documents, Andreev worked in the Bulgaria office of AW-Tronics, a Miami export company, which shipped and exported various aircraft parts and equipment to Syrian Arab Airlines.  Andreev dealt directly with the Syrian Air principals who procured the parts.

Mr. Demers and Mr. Greenberg commended the investigative efforts of the FBI, DOC, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and South Florida JTTF.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ricardo Del Toro and Michael Thakur of the Southern District of Florida; and Trial Attorney Matthew Walczewski of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.

Updated July 22, 2022

Export Control
Press Release Number: 18-444