US prosecutors allege that the leader of a Japanese criminal organization conspired to illegally transport nuclear material.

US prosecutors allege that the leader of a Japanese criminal organization conspired to illegally transport nuclear material.

According to US prosecutors, the leader of a Japanese organized crime group plotted to smuggle uranium and plutonium, with the belief that it would be used by Iran to create nuclear weapons.

Federal authorities stated that Takeshi Ebisawa, age 60, and accomplices presented the DEA with samples of nuclear materials that had been moved from Myanmar to Thailand.

The agent portrayed themselves as a dealer of drugs and weapons, and asserted that they had connections to an Iranian military leader.

According to media reports, the confiscated material was discovered to contain uranium and plutonium of weapons quality.

“The allegations showcased the immorality of arms and drug smugglers,” stated DEA administrator Anne Milgram.

According to a statement released on Wednesday, the individuals involved in this case are accused of engaging in the illegal trade of drugs, weapons, and nuclear materials. They allegedly went to the extent of providing uranium and weapons-grade plutonium, with the belief that Iran would utilize them in the production of nuclear weapons.

This serves as a shocking illustration of the immorality displayed by drug dealers who show no regard for the value of human life.

Prosecutors stated that the source of the nuclear material was a leader of an unnamed “ethnic insurgent group” in Myanmar, who had been extracting uranium within the nation.

According to court documents, Ebisawa suggested that the leader sell uranium through him to obtain funds for buying weapons from the general.

The leader of Myanmar allegedly provided samples that were analyzed by a US federal lab and found to contain uranium, thorium, and plutonium. The plutonium was determined to be weapons-grade, meaning it could potentially be used in a nuclear weapon.

In April 2022, Ebisawa, who is believed to be a key member of a Japanese organized crime group, was one of four individuals apprehended in Manhattan as part of a DEA undercover mission.

He is currently in custody, awaiting trial, and is one of two defendants mentioned in an updated indictment. Ebisawa is accused of illegally trafficking nuclear materials across borders, conspiring to commit this crime, and facing multiple other charges.

In recent times, the yakuza, a term used to refer to a group of illegal organizations, from Japan have expanded their influence abroad. This shift is due to their shift away from their usual means of making money, such as extortion and sex work, and also in response to stricter measures taken by Japanese law enforcement against their operations.

In 2012, the US Treasury Department announced that it had seized the assets of the Yamaguchi-gumi, known as Japan’s most influential yakuza group. They also prohibited the group from conducting any business in the US due to their growing involvement in drug and human trafficking, money laundering, and other international crimes.

The Associated Press reported that an email was sent to Ebisawa’s lawyer, Evan Loren Lipton, requesting a response.

According to US attorney Damian Williams, Ebisawa boldly transported the material from Myanmar to other countries.

According to Williams, he supposedly committed this act with the belief that the material would be utilized in the creation of a nuclear weapons program. If the weapons-grade plutonium he traded was produced in large enough amounts, it could potentially be used for that intention.

While supposedly trying to sell nuclear materials, Ebisawa also engaged in talks to buy lethal weapons such as surface-to-air missiles.

The accused individuals will appear in court on Thursday for their arraignment, which will take place in a federal court located in Manhattan.

The report was contributed to by The Associated Press.