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US Asks Argentina To Seize Grounded Venezuelan Plane

US Asks Argentina To Seize Grounded Venezuelan Plane
folder_openUnited States access_timeone month ago
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By Staff, Agencies

The United States asked Argentina Tuesday to seize a Venezuelan plane that has been grounded in Buenos Aires since June after an Iranian airline violated Washington sanctions by selling it to Caracas.

The Boeing 747 cargo plane, owned by the Venezuelan company Emtrasur, has been stuck with its 19 crew members at a Buenos Aires airport since it arrived on June 8 from Mexico with a shipment of auto parts, after having tried unsuccessfully to enter Uruguay.

The crew is made up of five Iranians and 14 Venezuelans. On July 19, a US court in the District of Columbia issued an order to seize the plane on the grounds that US "export control laws" were violated.

The court alleged an "unauthorized transfer" from Mahan Air to Emtrasur, a subsidiary of the Venezuelan company Conviasa, which is also under sanctions from the US Treasury.

"The Department of Justice will not tolerate transactions that violate our sanctions and export laws," said Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen in a statement.

"We will aggressively seek to prevent sanctioned entities from gaining access to America-made items or profiting from their illegal transfer," added another US attorney, Matthew Graves.

In 2008, the US Department of Commerce issued an order prohibiting Mahan Air from engaging in transactions involving products exported from the United States.