Gem Dealer Charged in Missile-Smuggling Plot

A New York City gem dealer has been linked to an elaborate international scheme to obtain surface-to-air missiles capable of shooting down passenger jetliners, the FBI and federal prosecutors said. Yehuda Abraham, 76, owner of Ambuy Gem Corp., 47th Street and Fifth Avenue, was charged with conspiring to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business. If convicted he could face five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. During his arraignment, bail was set at $10 million. He was later released on bail. According to an FBI statement, Abraham—an Afghan Jew who migrated to the United States nearly 50 years ago—also operated an illegal money-remitter business from his office suite. Abraham, who lives in the Queens section of New York City, accepted an initial $30,000 down payment on behalf of Hemant Lakhani and presumably transferred it overseas to accounts controlled by Lakhani.

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