Category Archives: Case Studies

Study of WMD Proliferation Financing Typologies: Interim Report

A Report by Dr Jonathan Brewer


Illustration credit: Jason Robinson—originally published in the ACAMS Today magazine, a publication of the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS).

Combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is a key priority for the international community. One of the tools for doing this is disruption of the networks used to finance proliferation. However, detecting financing of proliferation (FoP) is difficult and requires a better understanding of the typologies.

The most comprehensive study of FoP to date was published by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in 2008. Since then, largely due to sanctions on Iran and DPRK, more information on FoP has become available. The King’s College Study of Typologies of Financing of Proliferation is collecting and analyzing information held by governments and the banking and financial sector in order to publish reports on current FoP typologies. Additional indicators identified by this report could possibly be visible to banks and financial institutions that may be unknowingly involved in processing related transactions.

This Interim Report comprises analyses of 18 case studies, based on information supplied to the Study to date, contained in reports of UN Panels on Iran and DPRK, and in documents relating to a small selection of US Department of Justice actions.

The King’s College London Study will continue to collect and analyse data on FoP from governments and the private sector, and will publish a final report in July 2017.

The study is accessible below:

Study of Typologies of Financing of Proliferation Interim Report 5 Feb 2017

New Alpha case study: examining allegations that Pakistan supplied nuclear-related goods to the DPRK

A series of allegations made in June has re-awakened the issue of Pakistani nuclear cooperation with North Korea. These allegations, published by an Indian news agency, state that Pakistani authorities have continued to supply nuclear-related material to North Korea, in violation of sanctions.

Project Alpha sought to substantiate or otherwise the allegations utilising open source information. The purpose of this case study is to set out what steps were taken and what information was validated such that follow-on study might be undertaken, should further information become available that could allow a conclusion to be drawn about the validity of the allegations.

The report can be downloaded from the link below:


US trader charged with illegal export of metal powder to Iran


US-based metals trader Erdal Kuyumcu, arrested 1 March for allegedly violating US export control laws (source: Google+)

Amidst the ongoing efforts of Iran to satisfy its nuclear commitments as set out in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and praise for Iranian compliance, the CEO of a U.S. metallurgical company was arrested on March 1 on charges of illegal export of a dual-use cobalt-based powder to Iran. Continue reading US trader charged with illegal export of metal powder to Iran

The case of MCS Technologies – did Iran use a German factory for illicit procurement?

MCS’s factory. Image via

Iran’s illicit procurement of goods and technology has been a longstanding hallmark of its nuclear and missile programmes. While procurement agents working for these programmes have regularly been caught attempting to purchase goods and materials from foreign companies, one modus operandi Iran is not known to have undertaken is the purchasing of overseas factories to produce sensitive components for nuclear- or missile-related end-users. Continue reading The case of MCS Technologies – did Iran use a German factory for illicit procurement?

Illicit Procurement of German and Indian Valves for Iran’s Arak Heavy Water Reactor

  • Iranian company MITEC attempted to procure hundreds of valves for Iran’s Arak heavy water reactor from companies in Germany and India using false front companies in Azerbaijan and Turkey;
  • German authorities issued a licence for some of the exports despite warnings from the US of proliferation risks;
  • There is confusion surrounding whether the Indian government issued a license for the export;
  • Many of the valves and related components were either radiation hardened or bellows-sealed – tell-tale signs of nuclear end uses;
  • An Iranian national, Tanideh, acted as a middle man or broker, facilitating the deal between Iranian entities that had been designated for involvement in Iran’s nuclear program and the valve suppliers;
  • Four individuals involved were found guilty in late 2013, while Tanideh – the middleman – is currently awaiting trial in Turkey.

Continue reading Illicit Procurement of German and Indian Valves for Iran’s Arak Heavy Water Reactor