Chinese Ammo Wasn’t Illegal, Diveroli’s Attorney Says

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June 26, 2008 11:47 a.m.

Efraim Diveroli’s hot-shot Miami lawyer, Howard Srebnick, concedes that the 22-year-old president of arms dealer AEY Inc. bought massive stockpiles of old Chinese ammo and shipped them to Afghanistan.

But Diveroli didn’t break any laws, the attorney says in a statement released to TPMmuckraker:

The federal regulation cited in the indictment (paragraph 10) prohibits delivery of ammunition acquired “directly or indirectly, from a Communist Chinese military company.” The regulation does not prohibit an American from selling Chinese-made ammo to the U.S. Army if the ammo was acquired before the 1989 Chinese munitions embargo. Indeed, pre-embargo Chinese-made ammo is readily available on the internet.

The U.S. Army solicited bids for the ammo to arm Afghan (not U.S.) soldiers fighting the Taliban. The government knows that Mr. Diveroli purchased the Chinese-made ammo from the Albanian government, which had acquired the ammo back in the 60’s and 70’s, before the Chinese embargo and before Mr. Diveroli was even born. Mr. Diveroli did not acquire the Chinese-made ammo, “directly or indirectly,” from ANY Communist Chinese military company.

The government has misconstrued the statute as a ban on all Chinese-made ammo so that the U.S. Army can avoid its multi-million dollar contractual obligation to Mr. Diveroli. Fortunately, a federal judge and jury — not a government bureaucrat — will decide who’s right.

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