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TA-ANALYSIS: Night-Vision Goggle Smuggling Ring Broken Up

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posted on Dec, 3 2004 @ 01:34 PM
Two Iranian men have been arrested in a joint US-Austrian investigation into a illegal smuggling ring involving "sophisticated American night-vision systems." Mahmoud Seif and Shahrzad Mir Gholikhan were arrested this week in Vienna when they attempted to recover the first shipment of goggles. The arrests come after a two-year long investigation into the smuggling ring.
The alleged transactions were eventually expected to involved about 3000 of the advanced helmet-mounted Generation III systems, which can amplify even faint starlight so that soldiers can see to fight in the dark.

"Sophisticated night vision systems allow US troops to own the night, giving them a key advantage over their opponents during night-time combat.

In the wrong hands, these night vision systems pose a threat to our troops around the world," said Michael J Garcia, chief of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The two suspects, Mahmoud Seif and Shahrzad Mir Gholikhan, were arrested earlier this week on export violation charges in Vienna, Austria, by US and Austrian authorities shortly after they arrived to pick up their first batch of night-vision equipment. The investigation dates to August 2002 and involves ICE, the Defence Criminal Investigative Service and Austrian security personnel.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

In addition to the transfer of military equipment without permission being against the law, Iran is under sanctions regarding US exports.

The suspects both indicated that they were working directly for the Iranian government.

posted on Dec, 3 2004 @ 01:51 PM
Its interesting that they went to all the trouble when russian night vision products would suffice for most military operations - Iranian special forces maybe?

I would also wonder how long before some of these showed up in Iraq with Iranian supported insurgents.

posted on Dec, 3 2004 @ 02:57 PM
It wasn't that long ago that the U.S. accused Syria of doing the same thing.

Certainly, equipping the enemies of the U.S. with such devices is intended to neutralize a key tactical advantage for U.S. troops. As such, U.S. casualties could be expected to increase as a result of these sorts of activities.

Supplying enemies of the U.S. with such gear, therefore, constitutes a hostile act and alliance with the enemies of the U.S., with all the consequences that come with such a decision.

Considering how little advantage these countries gain from such activities, it is surprising that they would choose to support them anyway.

But that's their choice -- for now.

posted on Dec, 3 2004 @ 03:00 PM
Notwithstanding that this smuggle ring was busted , the timing of the bust is not co-incidental, there is a lot of effort to put pressure and pre-text gathering on iran and it's "peacefull" nuclear program.

Naturally , they could get goggles elsewhere, but wouldn't you like to know what kind of weapons your possible invader is using, you could test the helmets and goggles for week spot, hey even engineer a helmet seeking rocket that homes in on whatever IR system they might be using....

posted on Dec, 3 2004 @ 03:08 PM
In Korea, in the Army, you have to pull guard duty when you're in the field. Not just for training, but for 'slicky boy'. Thieves who infiltrate the camp and rob soldiers blind. Boots, sleeping blankets, whatever they can get their hands on. They are like ninjas. My battalion actually had a rule that said you had to ties all of the bags together at the middle of the tent. One of the favorite things to steal was NVGs. Big bucks on the black market and pawn shops.

posted on Dec, 3 2004 @ 03:23 PM
It is illegal to ship Gen 3 or 2+ night vision devices out of the US. I think that is the Gen it starts at. Gen 1 NV is junk you can ship it anywhere. Most of what you can buy of Gen 1 and Gen 1+ was made in Russia they are they worlds biggest producers of those Gen tubes ,The United States produces primarily Gen 2 and Gen 3 night vision.

I think the military is using gen 4 now

posted on Dec, 3 2004 @ 10:04 PM
as we can see here, here, and here it is not very hard to actually buy these third generation goggles inside of the United States. As a matter of fact I plan on buying a pair of third generation goggles for my own safety. You know if a burglar ever comes on the property at night you don't want to accidently kill him now do you? If you do a froogle search on nigth vision goggles you will get over a thousand stores to buy 1st-3rd gen goggles anywhere from under $400 - $3200. These things are pretty useful for instance if you wanna go hunting or if your dog is barking at something outside and you go to see what it is.
Personally I believe this will be a mandatory asset to have if the government under any administration decides that its time to end democracy and freedom

That along with a metal detector for those daring missions to take on big brother on one of their compounds if it is surrounded by mines. Stock up now while you still have the opportunity.

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