Three Lebanese charged in US for smuggling weapons, tax evasion

27 July, 2022
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Three Lebanese charged in US for smuggling weapons, tax evasion

Three indictments have been unsealed in federal court, detailing charges against three men, two formerly of Northeast Ohio, who are believed to be currently residing in Lebanon, the U.S. department of justice said in a statement.

George Nakhle Ajaltouni, 47, formerly of North Olmsted and Jean Youssef Issa, 48, of Batroun were charged "for their roles in a scheme to smuggle and illegally ship firearms from Cleveland to Lebanon."

Nakhle “Mike” Nader, 51, formerly of Cleveland was charged in a separate indictment with income tax evasion.

"The FBI is seeking information that may lead to the arrests of George Ajaltouni and Nakhle “Mike” Nader," the statement said.

It is believed that Ajaltouni and Nader are acquaintances and that the two men are currently residing near Batroun, Lebanon, the statement added.

The indictments were originally filed between 2016 - 2019, and efforts to apprehend Ajaltouni and Nader remain ongoing, while Jean Youssef Issa has recently been arrested pursuant to a Red Notice issued by Interpol.

"Ajaltouni and Issa are officially charged with conspiracy to smuggle and illegally ship firearms, smuggling goods from the U.S., unlawful delivery of firearms to a common carrier, control of arms exports and imports and unlicensed dealing in firearms.

"Ajaltouni is also charged in a separate indictment with naturalization fraud after obtaining naturalization and citizenship in 2009 that he was not entitled to nor eligible to receive," the statement said.

The FBI asked anyone who has information on the current whereabouts of Ajaltouni and/or Nader, to contact the FBI. "Your identity can remain anonymous," the U.S. department of justice said.

SourceNaharnet

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