Edmund Burge and Don Ramble, instructed by the CPS Specialist Fraud Division, successfully prosecute Alex George for trafficking aircraft parts to Iran. 

Alexander George, 77, from Bristol ran a “calculated and cynical” operation where he shipped military items to Iran, including Russian MiG and US F4 Phantom parts.

Two others, Paul Attwater, 65, and his 66-year-old wife Iris, both of Telford, Shropshire, were given suspended six-month prison sentences last month for sourcing aircraft parts from the US and shipping them to George’s companies in Malaysia and Dubai, which then sent them to Iran.

The UK operates a strict licensing regime to uphold international sanctions and to ensure military equipment and dual-use items, which could be used by both the military and civilian sectors, do not fall into the wrong hands.

An investigation by HMRC found that George was shipping the aircraft parts to Iran via companies he owned. He brought in the Attwaters to try and hide the smuggling operation further and they shipped dual-use parts, including those that they knew, were restricted under Weapons of Mass Destruction controls, through their company.

The three defendants were convicted following a trial at Southwark Crown Court.  Mr George was sentenced to two-and-a-half years’ imprisonment on 22nd November 2018, as reported in The Telegraph and Huffington Post.

Edmund Burge is a leading junior, ranked in Chambers and Partners as a leader in financial crime at the London Bar.  He specialises in serious financial, commercial and organised crime, with particular expertise in complex tax and commercial fraud, corruption, arms-trafficking and brokering, money laundering, large-scale drug-importations and other organised criminal matters.  In addition to advocacy in substantive offences, he provides advice and representation in proceedings for ancillary matters such as asset forfeiture and confiscation. 

Don Ramble is instructed in the most serious of criminal cases and has also established himself as an expert on disclosure issues. Don has acted as disclosure counsel in some of the most high profile criminal cases of recent years, including the prosecution of Andrew Coulson and others for “phone hacking”, and the prosecution of Levi Bellfield for the abduction and murder of Milly Dowler.