Alleged Yakuza Member Charged in U.S. for Attempting to Traffic Nuclear Materials to Iran

U.S. prosecutors have charged a suspected member of the Japanese mafia with attempting to sell nuclear materials to Iran. Tashi Ebisawa is accused of conspiring to traffic uranium and plutonium, which he believed would aid in building a nuclear weapon. The materials, thought to have originated from Myanmar, were intercepted by Thai authorities during an operation involving an undercover U.S. agent. The arrest took place in Manhattan as part of a sting operation conducted two years prior.

  • A Japanese mafia member, Tashi Ebisawa, has been charged by American prosecutors for attempting to traffic nuclear materials to Iran.
  • The nuclear substances included uranium and weapons-grade plutonium, believed to have come from Myanmar.
  • The materials were seized in Thailand where Ebisawa displayed them to an undercover U.S. agent posing as a trafficker.
  • The sting operation was part of a broader initiative dating back to 2020, coordinated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and international law enforcement.
  • Ebisawa allegedly attempted to sell 50 million tons of uranium yellow cake and thorium, which could potentially be weaponized, for approximately 5.4 million pounds.
  • The undercover operation revealed Ebisawa’s awareness of Iran’s interest in acquiring nuclear materials and his admission of not having a license to sell such materials.
  • There are reports suggesting that Myanmar, also known as Burma, may have been mining uranium, though these claims are not widely substantiated.
  • The operation culminated in the arrest of Ebisawa and three co-conspirators in Manhattan during a sting operation two years ago.

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