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Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Mehrdad Salashoor jailed for 18 months for illegally exporting 'gyrocompass' navigation devices to Iran.

UK businessman Mehrdad Salashoor was today jailed for 18 months for illegally exporting 'gyrocompass' navigation devices to Iran. In a hearing at Croydon Crown Court last December, Salashoor (56) admitted shipping hi-tech navigation equipment, adaptable for missile guidance systems, to the Iranian Ministry of Defence. The gyrocompasses, designed as standalone shipping navigation systems, contain accelerometers and gyros, which are classified as 'Dual-Use items' as they can be used for both civil and military applications. Salashoor was also ordered to handover £432,970 after being made subject to a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Salashoor must pay the sum within six months or face a three year prison sentence in default. In addition to pleading guilty to four offences of 'Being knowingly concerned in the exportation of goods Contrary to s68 (2) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979,' Salashoor also pleaded guilty to one count of perverting the course of public justice, and three further counts relating to other illegal exports were ordered to lie on file. Kevin Davis, Assistant Director of HMRC's Criminal Investigation Directorate, said: "This case demonstrates the commitment of HMRC in investigating and tracking down individuals trading in technology with a weapons application. The motivation for such crimes is profit with a complete disregard for law or international security. This is an excellent result for HMRC and our partners in Government and agencies overseas." The case was prosecuted on behalf of HMRC by The Revenue & Customs Prosecution Office (RCPO) which was created by Royal Assent on 07 April 2005 and is an independent prosecuting authority reporting directly to the Attorney General.
Matthew Wagstaff, Head of RCPO's Commercial Casework Division, said: "The international trade in technology with military applications gives rise to serious offences and the successful outcome in this case demonstrates that RCPO will not hesitate to prosecute such cases where they are referred to us."



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