Belgian Tried to Ship Tubes to Iran Front Firm, U.S. Says

A Belgian man accused of violating a U.S. law aimed at curbing nuclear weapons proliferation will be arraigned on charges tomorrow, U.S. Attorney Zachary T. Fardon of Chicago said.

Nicholas Kaiga, 36, the managing director of a Belgian company called Industrial Metals & Commodities, has been in federal custody since June and was indicted last week, according to a statement issued by Fardon yesterday.

He allegedly tried to ship aluminum tubes made by a suburban Chicago business -- and subject to the federal International Emergency Economic Powers Act -- to a company in Malaysia that was controlled by an individual “who is located at times” in Iran, the prosecutor said.

The tubing is used in the aerospace industry among other applications, according to the U.S. Between November 2009 and February 2012, Kaiga allegedly tried to send the regulated tubing from an unnamed business in Schaumburg, Illinois, to the company in Malaysia without a government license to do so.

His attorney, Danial McLaughlin of the federal defender’s office in Chicago, didn’t immediately reply to a voice-mail message seeking comment.

Breach of the IEEPA is punishable by as long as 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Kaiga also faces two counts of making false statements on U.S. export forms, each subject to a maximum sentence of five years and a $250,000 fine.

Kaiga is to be arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez.

The case is U.S. v. Kaiga, 13-cr-00531, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).

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