Spains’s National Police have aborted the sale of a number of helicopters and fighter parts to Iran and Venezuela. A total of eight arrests have been made in relation to this deal, five Spanish businessmen and three Iranian nationals who had traveled to Spain to formalise the deal.
Export of this type of equipment to Iran is under strict controls by the UN. The helicopters and spares were hidden in Madrid and Barcelona warehouses owned by the business consortium including the five Spaniards now being held in custody. Investigators learned of the arrival in Spain of Iranian buyers to complete the documentation with the Spanish businessmen and conclude the sale, so an operation was initiated leading to their arrests. In total, eight people were arrested, five in Madrid and three in Barcelona.
In their official statement, the Spanish Police say they have seized nine Bell 212s, spares, document and computer hard drives, including six 212s in Sabadell (Barcelona) and three in Navas del Rey (Madrid). However, HeliHub.com’s analysis of the Police video shows at least eleven Bell 212s and five JetRangers. Six 212s are stored in a line, while a further five are individual maintenance bays being worked on right down to the frame. Additonally the video shows various Rolls-Royce 250-C20B engines and focuses on serial numbers of CAE-832437 and CAE-834805.
Our analysis of the serial numbers on the noses of the B212s suggest that they were originally in service with the Israeli Defence Force, a batch which was retired around 2004. The JetRangers could also have been from the same source.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com
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