Lee Specialties Ltd. in Red Deer is facing charges after allegedly trying to export materials to Iran that can be used in nuclear applications.
On Feb. 27, as a result of a joint investigation between Calgary RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime and the Canada Border Service Agency’s (CBSA) Criminal Investigation Section, charges were laid under the Special Economic Measures Act, the Customs Act and the United Nations Act against Lee Specialties Ltd. in Red Deer.
On May 1, 2011, CBSA officers at the Calgary International Airport were conducting export verifications when they intercepted Viton O-rings from a cargo shipment destined for Iran. As a result, CBSA’s Criminal Investigation Section launched an investigation and the RCMP was notified which resulted in a joint investigation.
Viton O-rings are a prohibited commodity in the Special Economic Measures Act as they can be used in nuclear applications.
“The RCMP and CBSA are working together to stop shipment of illegal products to other countries and respecting our global responsibilities,” said Supt. Wade Oldford, acting director general, RCMP Federal Policing Criminal Operations.
Lee Specialties Ltd. representatives appeared in Calgary provincial court on Monday.
During the investigation, CBSA and RCMP executed three search warrants in relation to Lee Specialties Ltd. in February 2013.
Police officials have said this is the first time Special Economic Measures Act charges have ever been laid and the third time United Nations Act charges have been laid in Canada.
“CBSA officers are not only the first line of defense for goods coming into Canada, but they are also the final eye to ensure goods leaving the country are being lawfully exported. This seizure prevented these items, which can be used in nuclear applications, from landing in the wrong hands,” said Lauren D. Delgaty, regional director general, CBSA Prairie Region.
Viton is a brand of synthetic rubber and fluoropolymer elastomer commonly used in O-rings and other molded or extruded goods and has high temperature and chemical resistance characteristics.
Due to Viton’s characteristics, it is a dual use item and can be used in numerous applications including in the oilfield or in the nuclear program. Viton o-rings and gaskets are specifically mentioned in Schedule 2 of the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations under the Special Economic Measure Act as a prohibited item which, cannot be shipped or sold to any person or company in the Islamic Republic of Iran.