ABOVE: Nicholas Kaiga
According to a recently unsealed criminal complaint, a Belgian citizen, Nicholas Kaiga, has been charged with attempted unlicensed exports of export controlled aluminum tubing to Malaysia. The story recounted by the complaint begins with an order placed with a U.S. company for 7075 aluminum to be exported to a company in the UAE. Because 7075 aluminum is covered by ECCN 1C202, an export license application was filed with the Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”). When BIS sent an employee to the company address in the UAE, it discovered that the address actually belonged to a different company. Worse, it belonged to a different Iranian company, so BIS denied the license.
Undeterred, the UAE company instructed that the aluminum be shipped to Belgium instead given that a license is not required to send 7075 aluminum to Belgium. Enter Mr. Kaiga and his company Industrial Metals and Commodities, which he apparently was running from his house in a residential area of Brussels. Mr. Kaiga went so far as to fill out a BIS Form 711 stating that the aluminum was destined to be resold in Belgium In cahoots with federal investigators, the U.S. company then shipped what purported to be 7075 aluminum (but was in fact a lower grade EAR99 aluminum) to Kaiga, who then promptly shipped it to a company in Malaysia related to the Iranian company that ordered the 7075 aluminum in the first place. The shipment would have required a license both for export to Malaysia and, obviously, Iran, neither of which had been obtained.
Some time later, Mr. Kaiga made an improvident trip to New York and met with an undercover agent, whom he allegedly told that the aluminum was always intended to go to Malaysia. For good measure, Kaiga allegedly bragged to the agent about his ability to get around export controls. Then they arrested him.
An interesting footnote to all this is Mr. Kaiga’s expansive LinkedIn biography where he explains:
My overall experiences have taught me to become very flexible and adaptable to different manners of … working.
Maybe flexibility is not always such a good thing. He also claims that one of his “specialties” is “managing high risk operations.” Not so much given the outcome of his trip to New York. He might want to change that when he gets access to a computer again in several years.