US Government Charges Man Who Brokered $2b Illegal Arms Deal With Col. Sambo Dasuki
Ara Dolarian, the illegal arms dealer contracted by Col. Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria during the Goodluck Jonathan administration, has been charged to court by the government of the United States of America for allegedly brokering the sale of arms and munitions to the Nigerian government without acquiring compulsory US Department of Commerce and Investment licenses.
Dolarian who is 58, is also charged with conspiracy and money laundering, the Attorney’s Office said.
On the 6th of October 2014, the South African government confisticated US$5.7 million arms money from Nigeria, nearly three weeks after seizing $9.3 million in cash transported by two Nigerians and an Israeli for arms purchase allegedly brokered by Dolarian.
The transaction was between Cerberus Risk Solutions, an arms broker in Cape Town, and Societe D’Equipments Internationaux, said to be a French/Nigerian company based in Abuja contracted by the office of the national security adviser.
The money is part a $2 billion arms deal by the federal government which was embezzled by the office of the National Security Adviser under the leadership of Colonel Sambo Dasuki, the former National Security Adviser.
The money which was transported in a private plane with US registration number N808HG and owned by popular Nigerian Pastor, Ayo Oritsejafor, was designated for the purchase of helicopters, unmanned aircraft, rockets and ammunition.
A criminal complaint filed against Dolarian on Monday in the US, alleged that he attempted to broker an $8.5 million transfer of bombs, rockets, military-grade firearms and aircraft-mounted cannons from Eastern Europe and South Africa to the government of Nigeria in the 2013-14 period.
Dolarian, without certification from the US government accepted approximately $8.3 million from Societe D’Equipments Internationaux, SEI, a French arms brokering company acting on behalf of Nigeria, and from the Nigerian National Security Advisor’s office, through a purported Hong Kong-based furniture company.
Reports show that the money was routed to several shell accounts held by Dolarian and his associates, the US attorney claims, and were immediately used by the arms dealer to pay off his federal and state tax debts and buy a sports utility vehicle.
Dolarian faces 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine if he is convicted of unlicensed arms deals. He could also receive five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for conspiracy, and a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000 for money laundering, the indictment says.
In Nigeria, however, apart from Col. Sambo Dasuki who was arrested and detained on 1 December 2015 by the Department of State Security Services, others connected to the deal such as Chief Raymond Dokpesi, chairman of DAAR Communications Plc, Attahiru Bafarawa, the former Governor of Sokoto State, and Bashir Yuguda, the former Minister of State for Finance have all been granted bail with no real milestones or move to convict them despite overwhelming evidence.