Arms dealer handed 30 years’ prison by US court

21 August, 2019 12:00 AM printer

LOS ANGELES: An international arms dealer was sentenced to 30 years in prison by a Los Angeles federal court Monday for conspiring to sell surface-to-air missiles to Libyan militants and other customers in the Middle East, rpeorts AFP.

The trafficking operation run by Rami Najm Asad-Ghanem was described as “breathtaking and frightening” by Judge James Otero, who pronounced the sentence.

Ghanem, a 53-year-old naturalized American citizen, pleaded guilty to multiple federal crimes at his trial in November.

He was accused of negotiating the sale of Russian-made missile systems to a Libyan armed faction in 2015.

Prosecutors said Ghanem had negotiated salaries and organized travel for mercenaries who would receive $50,000 if they successfully shot down planes belonging to the internationally recognized Libyan government.

US authorities were alerted to Ghanem in 2014 after he approached a Los Angeles-based defense manufacturer.