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Reward Up To $15 Million for Information on Hossein Hatefi Ardakani
Rewards for Justice is offering a reward of up to $15 million for information leading to the disruption of financial mechanisms of the U.S.-designated terrorist organization Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
Hossein Hatefi Ardakani is Iranian businessman who has helped acquire and supply sophisticated technology that has supported IRGC weapons production and sales. Since 2014, Ardakani has used his network of intermediary companies, including Malaysia- and Hong Kong-based front companies and UAE logistics businesses, to procure and to facilitate the transfer of sensitive U.S.- and foreign-origin materials, components, and technology to the Islamic Republic of Iran (Iran) for Iran’s weapons programs. These weapons, including the Shahed-136 and Shahed-131 attack Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs, or drones), are developed on behalf of the IRGC and then sold on the international market. Some of those UAVs have been sold to the Russian armed forces for its use in its illegal military operation in Ukraine. Proceeds from these arms sales directly benefit the IRGC.
U.S.-origin flight guidance components procured by the Ardakani network have been identified in recovered wreckage of Shahed drones in Ukraine and other conflict zones. Additionally, the Ardakani network has illegally procured U.S. export-controlled high electron mobility transistors (a.k.a. HEMTs) and other components with ballistic missile applications, as well as other electronics with weapons application.
Malaysia-based front companies supporting the Ardakani network include Arta Wave Sdn Bhd, Integrated Scientific Microwave Technologies, and Tecknologi Merak Sdn Bhd. These companies and others have a corporate registration in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with unregistered representation and common addresses in Hong Kong. The companies act as proxies for Ardakani to acquire U.S.- and foreign-origin materials, which are otherwise unobtainable through legitimate procurement channels due to U.S. sanctions and export controls targeting Iran and the IRGC.
UAE-based businesses, including Dubai-based Smart Mail Services, Ring Field FZE, and others, have been identified as witting shipping facilitators used to submit false or misleading shipping information, circumvent U.S. and non-U.S. sanctions and export control regulations, and transship illegally procured components to the IRGC on behalf of Ardakani.
Ardakani also operates Tehran-based businesses Kavan Electronics Co, Ltd, Basamad Electronic Pouya Engineering Co, and Teyf Tadbir Arya Engineering Co.
On December 19, 2023, the U.S. Department of Justice unsealed an indictment against Ardakani charging him with crimes related to his procurement of U.S.-manufactured dual-use microelectronics for the IRGC. Concurrently, the U.S. Department of the Treasury placed Ardakani and 10 related entities on its Specially Designated Nationals list pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13382, which targets proliferators of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. The sanctions prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within the United States (including transactions transiting the United States) that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons.