After examining the IMF report that would link the pilot of the Emtrasur plane, Gholamreza Ghasemi, with possible terrorism operations, the federal prosecutor Cecilia Incardona expanded the requirement and advanced in the imputation of the suspect, “according to the obligations of the Argentine State to prevent and punish acts of terrorism”, establishes the new opinion. Also the rest of the crew were charged of the aircraft retained in Ezeiza.
Based on an FBI report establishing a direct link to the pilot Gholamreza Ghasemi, with the Quds Forces and with Hezbollah, Judge Federico Villena The prosecutor who is investigating the case ran his eyes “to delimit the procedural object.”
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In this way, the opinion of the prosecutor Incardona establishes: “With the progress of the investigative tasks carried out here, several traces emerged that impose the need to continue the investigation regarding Ghasemi Gholamreza, all the crew that reported to him, of the aircraft and its cargo, in accordance with the obligations of the Argentine State to prevent and punish acts of terrorism.
In turn, “such irregular circumstances lead to inquire whether the true purpose of the aircraft’s arrival in our country was exclusively to transport auto parts merchandise, or whether it was based on reasons other than those alleged and eventually constitutes an act of preparation for provide goods or money that could be used for terrorist activity, its financing or organization”, considered the prosecutor who directs the investigation of the plane retained in Ezeiza.
Although the lawyer clarified that the information contained in the FBI document “can only be used for intelligence purposes”, she included in the request that Ghasemi, According to recent investigations, is CEO and member of the board of directors of Qeshm Fars Air.
With respect to the analyzed report, “it follows that Mahan Air was sanctioned in October 2011 by OFAC (EO 13224) for providing financial, material or technological support for the IRGC-QF and for transporting weapons and personnel for Hezbollah. This sanction is not technically intelligence information, but rather it is perfectly corroborable data,” explained the professional.
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That said, the next step is to verify the ownership of the Emtrasur aircraftfor the purpose of clarifying whether the Mahan Air firm is involved in the case: “Mahan Air is considered a company that collaborates with terrorist organizations from its flag country, and Gholamreza Ghasemi is the CEO and pilot of Oeshm Fars Air linked to Mahan Air, which today continues to command the aforementioned plane, ”said the prosecutor.
As part of the ongoing investigation, the detailed examination of phones and tablets seized from crew members. Preliminary Results At the moment they do not offer evidence for the file, although the two “black boxes” of the aircraft have not yet been analyzed.
Also, it was ordered investigate aircraft cargo“in order to verify if the declared commercial operation coincides with the real content of the merchandise that the plane was transporting.”
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The rest of the crew
Regarding the 4 Iranians and 14 Venezuelans who made up the crew of the controversial flight, Incardona noted that “there are inconsistencies in the information regarding who makes up the crew, which will also be deepened in the investigation.” This means that the judge will keep their passports withheld and that they are therefore prohibited from leaving the country.
Regarding the cargo transported, the documentation provided by Customs specifies that the cargo weighed 47,882 kilos, distributed in 312 packages. The plane -according to the report- would have a transport capacity of up to 80 tons.
The importer of the shipment in question was SAS Automotivea company that markets seats and instrument panels for the Volkswagen Taos, whose production corresponds to the General Pacheco plant.
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After the scandal, SAS disassociated itself from the facts and targeted the Fracht company, a logistics company based in Switzerland with branches in 40 countries. “The relationship between forwarder (Fracht) and the airline for the aforementioned parts to arrive in Argentina is something that SAS Automotriz Argentina SA is unaware of and has no relationship with, SAS authorities reported.
In line with the above, both Volkswagen and Fracht disassociated themselves: in effect, the Swiss-based company held responsible Air Charter Mexico. “With the sole intention of moving air cargo from Mexico for its client, Fracht hired the company Aerocharter México, which assumed full responsibility for that flight,” the company argued.
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