Italian police said Tuesday they have arrested a four-member ring that trafficked arms and dual-use materials to the embargoed countries of Iran and Libya.
Investigators in the so-called “Operation Italian Job” said the suspects, three Italians and one Libyan national, conspired to sell “Soviet-manufactured military helicopters, assault rifles, war munitions, and anti-tank and surface-to-air missiles” to clients in Libya and Iran.
According to a police statement, they also trafficked civilian products and technologies that have military applications, known as dual-use materials.
The suspects “maintain consolidated relationships with key political and military figures in Asia-area states and in the Middle East, such as in Iran and Libya,” it added.
The suspects used dummy companies in Tunisia and Ukraine as fronts to convey the embargoed goods to Libya and Iran in 2011-2015, police said.
Two of the suspects, who have converted to Islam, are also accused of entering into “concrete negotiations” for the sale of dual-use material to be used for munitions manufacturing in Iran.
“We have no indication so far that they have been radicalized, or that they have connections with ISIS,” Finance Guard Colonel Gianluca Campana told a news channel.