Israeli arms dealers tried to send spare parts for F-4 Phantom fighter jets via Greece to Iran, according to a secret probe by the US government's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agency, carried out in cooperation with the drugs and weapons unit of Greece’s Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE).
The story appears in Greek newspaper Kathimerini, which is distributed with the International New York Times.
According to the probe, which Kathimerini said it had access to, the attempted operation was carried out in two phases – one in December 2012 and the second in April 2013. In both cases, officials traced containers packed with the F-4 parts on Greek territory. The cargo had been sent by courier from the Israeli town of Binyamina and had been destined for Iran, which has a large fleet of F-4 aircraft, through a Greek company registered under the name Tassos Karras SA in Votanikos, Athens. “SDOE officials established that the firm was a ghost company, while the company’s contact number was found to belong to a British national residing in Thessaloniki who could not be located,” wrote Kathimerini.
According to the HSI, the cargo appears to have been sent by arms dealers based in Israel, seeking to supply Iran in contravention of an arms embargo, and using Greece as a transit nation.
Last November, the newspaper added, an Athens court ruled against the confiscation of the consignments and ordered that they be delivered to US authorities.