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Two Belgians indicted in San Diego for trying to smuggle aircraft parts to Iran

May 17, 2011 |  5:49 pm

Two citizens of Belgium and their companies have been indicted in a scheme to smuggle helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft parts from the United States to Iran, the U.S. attorney in San Diego announced Tuesday.

Willy A.E. De Greef, 70, and Frederic Roland Nicolas Depelchin, 39, and their companies, Mecca Airways LTD, and Meca Overseas Airways LTD, were charged with conspiracy to  commit wire fraud and to smuggle embargoed parts out of the U.S. One of the defendants is in custody in London; the other is being sought.

The indictment alleges that De Greef and Depelchin had money wired to San Diego so they could buy parts in Southern California, including a fuel cell for a helicopter.

--Tony Perry in San Diego