This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A United Arab Emirates man was indicted by a federal grand jury in Salt Lake City on Wednesday for allegedly trying to export sniper rifles from the United States to the eastern European country of Belarus.
Kolar Rahman Anees Ur Rahman, 44, was charged with conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, violating the Arms Export Control Act, smuggling goods from the United States and money laundering.
The suspect was arrested in early November in Chicago, according to federal prosecutors, and is being transported to Utah to face charges. A court date will be set once he arrives.
A firearms manufacturer in Salt Lake City was contacted through email in November 2013 regarding the sale of 50 sniper rifles to be shipped to Belarus, according to the indictment, which notes that Belarus is among a number of countries for which the United States maintains an arms embargo.
The SLC manufacturer told the emailer that current law prohibits exporting firearms to certain countries, including Belarus, then contacted police about the "suspicious inquiry."
A Homeland Security agent then emailed the potential buyer again, who reiterated his request for the rifles, according to the indictment. In May 2015, the emailer who is not identified in court records connected the undercover agent with Rahman, saying that Rahman would be the principal broker.
The indictment alleges that in September, Rahman sent more than $13,000 to the undercover agent for 10 rifles, and agreed to pay the rest once the guns reached Belarus.
On Nov. 4, Rahman allegedly met with the two agents at a Chicago hotel to discuss future gun sales, according to the indictment. He was arrested by the undercover agents that day.
If convicted, Rahman could face up to five years in prison for conspiracy, up to 20 years for violating the Arms Export Control Act, up to 10 years in prison for smuggling goods and another potential maximum of 20 years for the money laundering charge.