Gal Luft, who is a US and Israeli citizen, was arrested in Cyprus in February but fled after he was granted bail pending extradition.
The United States has accused the head of a US think tank of being an agent of China, as well as seeking to engage in the sale of weapons and oil to Iran.
Federal prosecutors in New York have accused Gal Luft, a US and Israeli citizen, of engaging in “multiple, serious, criminal schemes,” according to a statement released Monday by the Justice Department.
According to prosecutors, Luft “subverted the foreign agent registration laws of the United States in order to seek to promote China’s policies by acting through a former high-ranking official of the US Government. “
The officer was not named.
In addition, Luft “acted as a broker in deals for dangerous weapons and Iranian oil; and he told numerous lies about his crimes to law enforcement,” the statement said.
Luft, 57, was arrested in February at an airport in Cyprus, but fled after he was released on bail pending extradition proceedings in the US, prosecutors said. The Justice Department said it is seeking information on Luft’s whereabouts.
A Twitter account bearing Luft’s name, which has more than 15,000 followers, said in a tweet on February 18 that he was arrested in Cyprus “in a politically motivated extradition request from the US” .
“I have never been an arms dealer,” the tweet added.
Luft is co-director and founder of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, which describes itself as a Washington, DC-based think tank focused on energy, security and economic trends.
Prosecutors alleged that Luft arranged with Chinese companies to sell weapons to countries including Libya, the United Arab Emirates and Kenya, despite lacking the license required under US law.
He is also accused of setting up meetings between Iranian officials and a Chinese energy company to discuss oil deals, despite US sanctions on the Middle Eastern country.
Luft has filed corruption allegations against the family of US President Joe Biden, and some Republican politicians have claimed that the charges against Luft are an attempt to intimidate an important witness.