In 2011, Virginia-based maritime security firm AdvanFort needed to some rifles to undertake counter-piracy missions in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.
The company, then in its infancy, reached out to an independent contractor who promised he could obtain the needed weapons.
The problem is, this individual then went to a gun shop and bought 16 hunting rifles, using federal firearms forms for sales for personal use – bypassing the more complicated process needed for exporting weapons for commercial use abroad.
As one might expect, this threw up a bit of a red flag with the gun shop owner, who then contacted the Feds, who ultimately found out that these guns were not for personal use, but had already been shipped overseas.
Once contacted by the government, Advanfort tells gCaptain that it immediately set about to correct the problem. The weapons were eventually destroyed and, in March of this year, AdvanFort pleaded guilty to “Aiding and Abetting the Making of a False Statement During the Acquisition of Firearms,” which is a felony.
Advanfort paid a fine and has now successfully completed nearly a quarter of its two-year probation.
“This event occurred long before I joined Advanfort as president, but I wanted to close the book on this matter in a responsible manner, said William H. Watson, president of Advanfort. “I want to thank the US Attorney’s office for their handling of this matter.”
Watson adds that AdvanFort’s maritime security teams continue to operate uninterrupted worldwide.
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