Canadian arms broker denies allegations

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Enaam Braganza’s company has been accused of shipping rocket-propelled grenades from Iraq to Syria before the weapons landed in Isis-held territory

This Lebanese-Canadian’s offshore company is accused of shipping mortar shells that have fallen into the hands of ISIS

A Lebanese-Canadian film producer has said his company is one of those involved in delivering munitions destined for ISIS in Syria.

Enaam Braganza’s wife owns a company called Direct Ship International. The self-described global arms broker told CBC News that his wife and his company are in no way involved in the transfer of any munitions.

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“It’s completely false,” Braganza said. “I’m an entrepreneur. I have done business with the same number of people for years.”

Braganza’s company has been accused of shipping rocket-propelled grenades from Iraq to Syria before the weapons landed in Isis-held territory.

“To receive payment from the [Syrian] government for the shipment of weapons, the weapons must be delivered to Syria before they are transferred to ISIS hands,” an affidavit signed by a US federal prosecutor wrote.

Braganza is accused of knowingly knowingly trading in goods that would be used in a war crime. He and two other Lebanese arms brokers also allegedly lied about their business when applying for a US gun-running licence, the court documents allege.

The investigation into the arms smugglers was launched after a US weapons broker who did business with Braganza, Justin Ratcliff, was shot dead outside his Chicago home in 2013.

Ratcliff had previously wired Braganza $4m. Ratcliff told the US government that he believed “that the transaction to sell weapons to the Syrian regime, in retribution for Ratcliff’s role in robbing an arms dealer, was a double-deal made in front of him”.

Braganza in a statement told BuzzFeed News: “It is unfortunate that the many wonderful people who have looked after me in my time of need feel the need to target me with lies that they know to be false. I am appalled that some people in this country would want to bring these falsehoods to life.”

Braganza has made headlines before. He said he was forced to flee his home in Toronto after receiving threats from supporters of terrorism. He also owns a Lebanese nightclub, called Le Dieu, in Toronto.

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Braganza said the US allegations against him would not affect his businesses.

“If I have been working illegally in the US, as the prosecution is alleging, or not following all applicable regulations, then that will affect me,” he said. “However, it will not affect my efforts in business.”

Additional reporting by Clare Brennan

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