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THE REGION

Man Tied to Arms Sales to Iraq Faces Charges

October 21, 2003|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A man accused of being half of a father-son team that provided weapons illegally to Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq has been brought to the United States to face charges, authorities said Monday.

Regard Yakou, 43, was flown Sunday from Kuwait to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and was scheduled to make an initial appearance in federal court in Brooklyn, said Garrison Courtney, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Yakou was arrested Oct. 11 in Baghdad after a meeting was set up with undercover ICE agents, Courtney said.

Yakou is charged along with his father, 69-year-old Sabri Yakou, with violating U.S. arms control laws in a scheme to provide Iraq with six sophisticated patrol boats before the start of the Iraq war.

The elder Yakou, an Iraqi native and legal U.S. resident, was released into the custody of a family member in the Washington area last week. The son is a naturalized U.S. citizen. Each man could face up to 10 years in prison and $1 million in fines.

ICE officials have said that more than 30 additional cases involving illegal acquisition of conventional arms by Hussein are under investigation.

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