Columns

Plantation Man Pleads Guilty To Shipping Military Aircraft Parts to Iran

It's probably safe to add "shipping military aircraft parts to Iran" to your running list of "Bad Business Plans."

Traian Bujduveanu, a Romanian citizen living in Plantation, learned that the hard way, pleading guilty in downtown Miami federal court today of plotting to ship sensitive military parts to Iran, the U.S. Attorney's Office tells Riptide.

It's the latest in a bizarre South Florida-Iran illicit arms connection. Shahrzad Mir Gholikhan, whose story we brought you a few months ago, earned a 29-month sentence for her part in a deal to send night-vision goggles to the Islamic Republic.

Bujduveanu, 53, ran a company called Orion Aviation in Plantation. In 2007, he hooked up with a California man named Hassan Saied Keshari, who had connections in Tehran. Keshari, who plead guilty for his role in the scheme in January, took orders from Iranian officials for parts for the F-14 Fighter Jet, Cobra AH-1 Attack Helicopter and CH-53A Military Helicopter and forwarded them to Bujduveanu.

All those aircraft are used by the Iranian military, the U.S. attorney's office says, and only the Iranians still fly the F-14.  After receiving the orders, Bujduveanu shipped them to a holding company in Dubai, which sent them along to Tehran.

Both Bujduveanu and Keshari are awaiting sentencing.

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink