US arms businessman arrested for torture in Iraqi Kurdistan

US arms Businessman Ross Roggio arrested for torture in Iraqi Kurdistan

Businessman Ross Roggio was arrested in the United States accused of torturing in 2015, along with the Kurdish military, one of his employees in Iraqi Kurdistan who opposed a project for an arms factory in that region, the Department of Justice reported this Friday. .

According to the authorities, Roggio, 53, originally from Pennsylvania (USA), would have suffocated his victim with a belt, threatening to cut off his finger, and ordered Kurdish soldiers to continue torturing him.

The Department of Justice explained in a statement that the businessman faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison in federal court for each of the charges of torture.

The events date back to 2015 when the businessman, owner of the Roggio Consulting company, was managing a project to build an arms factory in Iraqi Kurdistan, of which one of his employees “expressed his concern” about the irregular practices of the plan.

According to the indictment, Roggio ordered Kurdish soldiers to kidnap the worker “to prevent him from interfering with the weapons project.”

The victim was held for 39 days in a Kurdish military compound, where he was interrogated several times by Roggio, who “ordered the soldiers to suffocate the victim with a bag,” according to the indictment.

They also beat him, jumped on his chest, threatened to cut off his finger, and Roggio himself would have suffocated him with a belt until he lost consciousness.

This accusation is added to the other 37 charges that weigh on the businessman since 2018 for having trafficked firearms from the United States to Iraq.

“This defendant took advantage of his position and used foreign soldiers to intimidate and coerce someone who posed a threat to the success of his corrupt plan,” FBI Philadelphia Special Agent Jacqueline Maguire said, according to the statement.

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