Belgian arms dealer jailed in Alabama

Sept. 4, 2009 at 3:45 PM
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MOBILE, Ala., Sept. 4 (UPI) -- A Belgian arms dealer was incarcerated Friday in a federal jail in Alabama, accused of trying to buy fighter jet parts for Iran, authorities say.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton said reputed arms trafficker Jacques Monsieur will face charges of money laundering, smuggling and violating laws against exporting arms to Iran as part of a six-count federal indictment revealed Wednesday, The Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

Monsieur, 56, nicknamed "the Fox" and "the Field Marshal," had yet to be arraigned on the federal charges since being arrested in New York last week. It was not clear why he was being detained in Mobile, Ala.

Morton said Monsieur's alleged attempts to orchestrate the purchase of F-5 fighter engines and other parts for Iran represented a significant point of concern for the U.S. government.

"This is obviously a sustained concern for us," Morton told the Times. "This kind of weapons proliferation needs our attention and focus as an agency and a government, and it has it."

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