US Accusations | Japanese Criminal Trafficking Nuclear Materials to Iran


Nuclear material, purportedly sourced from Myanmar, has sparked international concern as Japanese crime syndicate leader Takeshi Ebisawa faces charges of conspiring to traffic such materials to an undercover US agent. The United States has leveled accusations against Ebisawa, 60, alleging his involvement in a transnational organized crime ring, particularly dealing in drugs, weaponry, and nuclear elements. According to Anne Milgram, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the defendants, Ebisawa and his associate Somphop Singhasiri, 61, purportedly facilitated the trafficking of uranium and weapons-grade plutonium, ostensibly earmarked for Iran’s nuclear program.

US authorities assert that Ebisawa, suspected to hold a senior position within the Yakuza syndicate, orchestrated the transfer of nuclear materials from Myanmar to Thailand, where they would eventually reach an undercover DEA agent posing as a trafficker with connections to an Iranian general.

Reportedly, the uranium in question was sourced from an undisclosed leader of an “ethnic insurgent group” in Myanmar, involved in clandestine uranium mining activities. Legal officials contend that Ebisawa proposed to broker the sale of uranium on behalf of this leader, intending to utilize the proceeds to procure lethal weaponry, including surface-to-air missiles, purportedly from the aforementioned Iranian general.

Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen underscored the gravity of the situation, emphasizing the potentially catastrophic implications had the trafficking operation succeeded. Notably, Ebisawa and Singhasiri had previously faced charges in 2022 related to international narcotics trafficking and firearms offenses, stemming from a DEA sting operation.