Mahmood Memarian is an Iranian national that is wanted for questioning by authorities after it was revealed he was the partner of Patrick Campbell, the notorious ‘uranium shoe’ man from Sierra Leone. This deal, in conjunction with his links to the Iranian government and his previous weapons experience, make him of particular concern.
Mahmood Memarian is an Iranian national that is wanted for questioning by authorities after it was revealed he was the partner of Patrick Campbell, the notorious ‘uranium shoe’ man from Sierra Leone. This deal, in conjunction with his links to the Iranian government and his previous weapons experience, make him of particular concern. Patrick Campbell is the notorious ‘shoe smuggler’ accused of attempting to travel to the US with samples of uranium hidden, called Yellowcake, in the soles of his shoes in his luggage.Yellowcake, or Uranium 308, is a raw form of uranium containing a small amount of the radioactive element. It is the first step towards the creation of enriched uranium, which can then be used to make nuclear weapons and nuclear fuel.
Mahmood Memarian worked with Patrick Campbell and used the site alibaba.com to respond to someone looking to buy Uranium 308, or ‘yellowcake’ as it is known. This is actually what brought them to the authorities attention, as the buyer was actually an undercover US Homeland Security agent and their response to the ad prompted a federal investigation. Having no idea, the two “businessmen” corresponded with undercover federal agents via telephone, Skype and email.Both Patrick Campbell and Mahmood Memarian claimed to be affiliated with Horizon Limited, a company based in Sierra Leone that sold uranium, gold, diamonds and chromite. Patrick Campbell claimed to own three mines in Sierra Leone and assured agents that he could ship the material from Sierra Leone to Bander Abbas, handling the port officials along the way. He also claimed that he had secured similar deals in China and Ecuador.
After months of corresponding with undercover authorities, Patrick Campbell agreed to travel to the US with samples of uranium so that it could be tested for purity. He entered New York on the 21st August, 2013, on his way from Sierra Leone to Florida, and was immediately arrested.Authorities found the samples of Yellowcake hidden in the soles of his shoes in his luggage, and trace elements on his person. They also found a USB drive with the details of the sale of uranium to Iran. He was charged with brokering a uranium deal intended for Iran in violation of US law and faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1million fine. Since Mahmood Memarian did not travel with Campbell, he escaped capture.He carries on business as normal, trading under Memarian Consultancy Ltd, a company set up in the names of his sons Pedram and Aryan.
Patrick Campbell is still under arrest and, despite being widely reported as being from Sierra Leone, officials from the country’s information ministry deny that he is a citizen, saying that he was travelling on a fake passport. On the other hand, his partner, Mahmood Memarian, remains at large and has evaded capture.Memarian set up Memarian Consultancy Ltd in his sons’ names, with Pedram as Director and Aryan as the Company Secretary. The company is thought to have been a front for Mahmood’s illegal activities and was dissolved in 2013. You can easily find out more about Mahmood Memarian by visiting the websitemahmoodmemarian2014.wordpress.com.