Japanese mafia boss charged by US with conspiring to site visitors nuclear supplies | EUROtoday

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US prosecutors have charged a 60-year-old alleged member of the Japanese Yakuza mafia with conspiring to site visitors nuclear supplies.

Takeshi Ebisawa was charged with allegedly making an attempt to promote uranium and plutonium supposed for Iran to construct a nuclear bomb.

Mr Ebisawa, together with Thai co-defendant Somphop Singhasiri, 61, had beforehand confronted weapons and drug costs in April 2022.

“The defendant stands accused of conspiring to sell weapons-grade nuclear material and lethal narcotics from Burma (Myanmar), and to purchase military weaponry on behalf of an armed insurgent group,” assistant lawyer basic Matthew Olsen of the US Justice Department’s National Security Division mentioned in an announcement.

Currently held in a Brooklyn jail, Mr Ebisawa is taken into account a senior determine within the Yakuza with operations extending by means of Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, and the US.

Mr Ebisawa and his “confederates showed samples of nuclear materials in Thailand” to an spy from the US Drug Enforcement Agency, the US Department of Justice mentioned in an announcement.

The 60-year-old Japanese mafia boss reportedly additionally despatched photos “depicting rocky substances with Geiger counters measuring radiation”, in response to the indictment, in addition to pages of what Mr Ebisawa mentioned had been lab analyses “indicating the presence of the radioactive elements thorium and uranium”.

The US Drug Enforcement Agency agent was reportedly posing as a trafficker with connections to an Iranian basic.

These samples, originating from Myanmar, had been seized by Thai authorities and confirmed by a US laboratory to include uranium and weapons-grade plutonium.

Mr Ebisawa can also be accused of making an attempt to acquire giant portions of military-grade weapons for a insurgent group in Myanmar, together with surface-to-air missiles and numerous firearms.

“It is chilling to imagine the consequences had these efforts succeeded, and the justice department will hold accountable those who traffic in these materials and threaten US national security and international stability,” Mr Olden mentioned on Wednesday in an announcement.

Charges towards Mr Ebisawa embrace conspiracy to commit worldwide trafficking of nuclear supplies, narcotics importation conspiracy, conspiracy to amass, switch, and possess anti-aircraft missiles, and cash laundering.

Both Mr Ebisawa and Mr Singhasiri face life imprisonment if convicted. Their arraignment is scheduled in a New York federal courtroom on Thursday.

US lawyer Damian Williams mentioned in an announcement: “It is impossible to overstate the seriousness of the conduct alleged in today’s Indictment. As alleged, Takeshi Ebisawa brazenly trafficked material containing uranium and weapons-grade plutonium from Burma to other countries. He allegedly did so while believing that the material was going to be used in the development of a nuclear weapons program, and the weapons-grade plutonium he trafficked, if produced in sufficient quantities, could have been used for that purpose.”

He continued: “Even as he allegedly attempted to sell nuclear materials, Ebisawa also negotiated for the purchase of deadly weapons, including surface-to-air missiles.”