Woman sentenced in Sydney over illegal metal alloy shipment to Iran

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A 48-year-old woman has been sentenced to an Intensive Corrections Order in a New South Wales court today (24 December) for her role in the illegal exportation of 90 tonnes of nickel-rich superalloy from Australia to Iran almost a decade ago.

At the time the product was shipped between March 2009 and April 2010, it was prohibited to export nickel-rich alloys from Australia to Iran under the Charter of the United Nations Act 1945 (Cth).

Nickel-rich superalloys were the subject of a UN sanction because of their use in the aerospace, rocket motor, power generation and chemical manufacturing industries as well as nuclear engineering – including the process of enriching weapons-grade uranium.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) launched an investigation in 2012 over allegations 90 tonnes of the banned material was sent to Iran in two shipments falsely labelled as stainless steel.

Authorities alleged that a woman, who was in Iran working for an Iranian-owned company based in Dubai, tricked an Australian supplier into selling them the high-grade nickel alloy materials by concealing that the product was destined for Iran.

The woman, an Iranian-born Australian citizen, was charged in October 2016 with two offences for organising the illegal consignments:

  • One count of engaging in conduct that contravened a United Nations sanction enforcement law, contrary to section 27(1) of the Charter of the United Nations Act 1945 (Cth).
  • One count of giving false information to another person, reckless that it will be given to a Commonwealth entity in connection with administration of a United Nations sanction enforcement law, contrary to section 28(2) of the Charter of the United Nations Act 1945 (Cth).

The maximum penalty for each charge is 10 years’ imprisonment and a $275,000 fine.

The woman pleaded guilty to the first offence in May and was sentenced today in the Sydney District Court to two years’ home detention under an Intensive Corrections Order (ICO).

She has been ordered to undertake 18 hours of community service per month for two years.

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