Canadian Man Pleads Guilty To Attempting To Illegally Export Firearms From The U.S. to Dubai And Columbia
CONTACT: Barbara Burns
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BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Aydan Sin, a/k/a Hon Chak Gordon Sin, a/k/a Andy, a/k/a Bullion, 47, of British Columbia, CA, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to violating the Arms Export Control Act. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango, who is handling the case, stated that between November 2016 and April 2017, the defendant conspired with others, including Guy Deland, a/k/a Mark, a/k/a Security Prime, and Charan Singh, a/k/a Charlie, a/k/a Sunny, to export defense articles on the United States Munitions List (USML) in violation of United States law.
In November 2016, Singh began communicating with an undercover law enforcement agent (UCA), inquiring about whether the UCA could export firearms from the United States to the United Arab Emirates. During the communications, Sin, Deland, and Singh were advised by the UCA that a license was required from the United States Department of State in order to legally export the firearms. The defendants acknowledged the illegality of the attempted exports, provided an encrypted Blackberry device to the UCA for the purpose of secure, covert communications, and wired approximately $70,000 USD from Canada to the United States as a 50% down payment for the export of the goods.
On December 7, 2016, Sin, through telephone and email, requested the gun order include 9mm handguns and Uzi machine guns. On December 9, 2016, Sin told the UCA that rather than get an export license, he wanted the UCA to export the firearms “the wrong way.”
Subsequently, on January 10, 2017, the UCA emailed two revised invoices to Sin and Deland. One invoice was for the export to Dubai of three new Glock 9mm firearms, six magazines, two used Mini Uzi submachine guns, two suppressors, and 1,000 rounds of 9mm ammunition for the firearms, for a total cost of $20,575. The second invoice was for the export to Colombia (thru Panama) of 37 new Glock 9mm firearms, 74 magazines, 13 used Mini Uzi submachine guns, 13 suppressors, and 3,000 rounds of 9mm ammunition for the firearms, for a total cost of $121,175. Both invoices contained language stating that exporting these products was prohibited by law without an export license.
On February 6 and 7, 2017, an undercover bank account, located in the Western District of New York, received two bank wire transfers from a bank account in Canada, each in the amount of $34,990 USD, representing 50% of the total purchase price of the firearms, suppressors, and ammunition.
On March 10, 2017, Sin contacted the UCA and asked if the shipment of guns to Columbia would occur in a few days. On March 20, 2017, the UCA used existing sea freight shipment tracking numbers and told Sin and Deland that the firearms, suppressors, and ammunition were shipped to Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates, and the shipment of guns to Columbia would occur on March 29, 2017. The UCA also provided them with the tracking information.
The firearms, suppressors, magazines, and ammunitions listed above are defense articles listed on the USML. Prior to the attempted export and export of these defense items from the United States, Sin was aware that an export license was required and at no time did he, or the actual exporter apply for, receive, or possess a license to export the items from the United States.
“The Arms Export Control Act was enacted to keep our country and our citizens safe and secure from the threat of the illicit trafficking of firearms,” said U.S. Attorney Kennedy. “When our safety and security are compromised by individuals such as this defendant, it threatens to destabilize the national security of our country, which in turn puts American citizens at risk. It is our duty to be vigilant in enforcing the laws designed to protect our national security.”
“HSI vigorously investigates criminal organizations that attempt to illegally export firearms, firearm parts, munitions, and sensitive technology to protect American citizens, our warfighters and our allies,” said Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly. “Counterproliferation investigations are among HSI's top priorities to ensure that those who put our country at risk are brought to justice.”
Charges remain pending against defendants Guy Deland and Charan Singh. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The plea is the result of an investigation by Homeland Security investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly. Additional assistance was provided by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Sentencing is scheduled for August 26, 2019, at 12:30 p.m. before Judge Arcara.
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