US seeks confiscation of Emtrasur Boeing 747 held in Argentina

After concluding that the other five detained crew members of Emtrasur Cargo’s Boeing 747-300M had no connection to terrorism, they were sent home on October 20. And all that remained of the four-month international judicial and diplomatic saga was the plane itself, with the US government formally requesting the confiscation of the Boeing wide body.

A summary of the drama

But why is the United States interested in ground planes? The answer lies in the aircraft’s relatively complex history. Registered YV-3531 and with serial number 23413, the The Boeing 747-300M was operating under Emtrasur Cargo when it got stuck in this mess. Emstratur Cargo was the subsidiary of the Venezuelan national carrier Conviasathat the US Treasury Department is currently sanctioning.


To make matters a bit more complicated and worse, the Boeing jumbo jet was previously owned by the Iranian airline. Mahan Air before being sold to Emtrasur Cargo as part of a 20-year cooperation plan to overcome US sanctions. Following this discovery, the US Department of Justice pointed out that the transfer of the jumbo jet from a designated Iranian carrier to South America was a clear violation of US export control laws.

It should be noted that the United States sanctioned both the former Iranian owner and the current Venezuelan owner of the Boeing 747-300M, albeit for different reasons. The United States DOJ was using this rationale while breaking the law, and the prosecutor’s initial filing stated:

“The plane was under the control of Emtrasur of Venezuela, which authorized the re-export of the plane between Caracas, Venezuela, Tehran, Iran, and Moscow, Russia, without the authorization of the American government.”

With this violation, the U.S. government claimed he had every right to seize the cargo plane and has been trying to do so since August. However, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro later criticized the US government for trying to steal a Venezuelan plane and claim it as his own. Mahan Air has also refuted claims that one of its planes was seized in Argentina, constantly stressing that Venezuela owns the plane and no longer has any connection with it.

New confiscation attempt

A few months have passed since the first filing, and it remains clear that the US government has not given up trying to seize the unfortunate aircraft. The latest forfeiture request was filed by the District of Columbia Court prosecutor, asking that the grounded Boeing 747-300M be turned over to the US government.

In the filing of the request, it was pointed out that the confiscation action stemmed from a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Department of Commerce into the unauthorized transfer of the Boeing 747-300M from an Iranian sanctioned entity. to a third party.

Photo: Getty Images

The filing also points out that the transfer conflicts with a temporary denial order against Mahan Air for the unauthorized addition of six US-origin aircraft. The temporary denial order is meant to be renewed sequentially and prohibits Mahan Air, or anyone directly or indirectly connected with the airline, from participating in transactions related to the six US-origin aircraft.

With this reasoning on file, the US government is confident that its request to seize the plane will be successful this time around.

Source: Aviationline

  • 787-8 Dreamliner

    Stock code:

    Creation date :

    Dave Calhoun

    Head office location:
    Chicago, United States

    Key product lines:
    Boeing 737, Boeing 747, Boeing 757, Boeing 767, Boeing 777, Boeing 787

    Type of company:

Previous A relic of the 1990s, floppy disks recycled for a second life by OC Company
Next The life and times of pioneering American aviator Albert Francis Hegenberger