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Posted: 6/15/2001 7:40:13 AM EDT
LA Times http://www.latimes.com/wires/20010615/tCB00V1987.html Friday, June 15, 2001 Two Suspected Arms Dealers Held Associated Press Writer WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.--Two suspected arms dealers were arrested after allegedly negotiating with undercover agents to illegally sell military weapons to a foreign country. Diaa Mohsen and Mohammed Rajaa Malik, alleged middlemen in the deal, were arrested Tuesday after a 30 -month sting operation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Mohsen's attorney, Valentin Rodriguez, said his client was innocent and accused the government of entrapment. "The agents and the undercover person set everything up completely," he said. "It's like a James Bond novel." Also arrested Tuesday were two men who allegedly agreed to launder $2.2 million in what they were told was profits from illegal arms sales. Kevin Ingram, 42, of Jersey City, N.J., and Walter Kapij, 44, of Weathersfield, Conn., were both charged with money laundering. Their attorneys declined to comment on the charges, but lawyer Richard Lubin said Ingram was a New York investment counselor. Kapij told the court he sold airplanes. The investigation began in late 1998, when an informant told ATF agents that Mohsen "was involved in illegal arms deals and purchasing arms for other groups," according to court documents. Since then, more than a dozen meetings were held in South Florida, New Jersey and New York between undercover agents, the informant, and Mohsen and Malik, according to court records. The defendants discussed the purchase of missiles, machine guns, grenade launchers, night-vision goggles and other weapons, records say. At one 1999 meeting at a West Palm Beach warehouse, Mohsen and Malik were secretly videotaped by government agents as they were shown machine guns, Stinger missiles and live explosives, court records say. The records do not say what country the weapons were allegedly being sold to. One buyer was allegedly described as a "well-known" former military person who wanted to pay for the arms partially with heroin. Mohsen, 57, and Malik, 52, both of Jersey City, N.J., were in federal custody pending a bond hearing next week. Bond was set Thursday for Ingram and Kapij, and their lawyers said they expected them to be released on bond shortly. Mohsen introduced the government informant to Ingram in June 1999, according to court documents. The informant told Ingram he had "a certain amount of cash coming in every month and needs help cleaning it up" and Ingram agreed to launder it, the documents allege. He and Kapij were arrested Tuesday at a Fort Lauderdale hotel. Copyright 2001 Los Angeles Times
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