Export Violation – Hazardous Materials to Saudi Arabia

Hazardous Materials to Saudi Arabia – On February 21, 2014, Hasan Ibrahim was sentenced in the Northern District of California to 30 days imprisonment, 3 years of supervised release, and a $2,200 special assessment.

Hazardous Materials on a commercial air flight to Saudi Arabia not properly labeled or packaged got Mr. Ibrahim in trouble, again.  Previously, on July 3, 2013, Ibrahim was convicted by a federal jury of attempting to place destructive substances on an airplane. The jury found that the defendant willfully intended to place 9 different hazardous materials on a Lufthansa passenger airplane bound for Frankfurt, Germany. The hazardous materials were ultimately destined for Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. In related charges, the jury convicted Ibrahim of failing to properly label the packages containing the hazardous materials and failing to complete the requisite shipping papers as required by the Department of Transportation. On November 2, 2011, a grand jury returned an indictment charging MEDCHEM Corporation and its owner Hasan Ibrahim with two counts of attempted placement of destructive substance on an aircraft, one count of transportation of hazardous materials without shipping papers, nine counts of transportation of hazardous materials without labels, one count of failure to file export information, one count of attempted smuggling of goods, and one count of attempted smuggling of goods.

The charges in the indictment stem from MEDCHEM, located in South San Francisco, exporting chemicals (including hazardous materials), medical equipment, and diagnostics to Constant Trading Activity (“CTA”), a business in Saudi Arabia. Ibrahim was the owner and president of MEDCHEM until one of his sons became involved in MEDCHEM prior to June 2010. Ibrahim was MEDCHEM’s sole employee. Ibrahim was also a founder of CTA and served as CTA’s vice president. According to the indictment, Ibrahim caused a shipment consisting of five pallets containing sixty-four boxes to be delivered to a freight forwarder for export to Saudi Arabia. None of the boxes were labeled as containing hazardous material. The shipment contained over 25 separate chemicals designated as hazardous materials under the Hazardous Materials Regulations. Two of the hazardous materials – Sulfuryl Chloride (classified as a corrosive) and Chloroacetonitrile (classified as poisonous material, with a subsidiary hazard that it is a flammable and combustible liquid) – were poisonous by inhalation and prohibited under federal law from transportation on any aircraft. The indictment against defendant MEDCHEM Corporation was dismissed on June 26, 2013. The investigation was conducted by the FBI, Department of Commerce, IRS and Federal Aviation Administration.

DOJ Press Release.


Kevin Gholston

Kevin Gholston

Subject Matter Expert in MIL-STD-810, ITAR & Export-Compliance and Quality including ISO9001:2015, AS9100D and AAR M-1003

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