SANTA ANA, California. – The chief executive of a California check cashing business pleaded guilty Monday to helping smuggle gun parts and other military equipment to the rebels in his homeland of Syria.
Rasheed Al Jijakli, 57, was arrested last year and charged in federal court with violating U.S. laws that prohibit the export to Syria.
The CEO of Palmyra Corp. commitment with three others not charged in the indictment to export dozens of riflescopes, laser sighting devices and other tactical equipment to Syria, prosecutors said.
He pled guilty to violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, City News Service reported. The sentencing was set for Dec. 3.
Jijakli and others bought the property in the USA, they flew to Turkey and then gave them to rebel fighters in Syria between January 2012 and March 2013, the indictment said.
Different rebel groups to fight the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Until recently, the CIA secretly supported some of the rebels.
In July 2012, Jijakli, told one of his co-conspirators that he had arrived in Syria and gave the material to rebel fighters, the indictment said. Prosecutors would not say which group he supported.
Jijakli told the accomplice that the optical devices are more expensive in Syria, and it was cheaper to smuggle them to the U.S., the indictment said. He has also described how the smuggling of the items into Turkey without being caught.
After his return to the U.S., Jijakli told a co-conspirator that he is not “too much fun” because he was not able to do … what action,” the indictment said.
Jijakli has no criminal record and “looks forward to moving forward with his life,” attorney Kate Corrigan said. “He is hopeful that the (court) will take into account the background and good work,” she said.
The three alleged co-conspirators who are not named or charged in the indictment, two of Syria natives, who, as Jijakli, are citizens of the united states, and a Kuwaiti born citizen of Canada who is the president of the company that is doing business in Orange County Orange Check Cashing.