An Iranian national who ran a financial services company designed to circumvent financial sanctions on Iran, has been sentenced in the US after being arrested and extradited from the UK.

Seyed Sajjad ShahidianSeyed Sajjad Shahidian, 33, was the CEO of Payment24.ir, an online platform which helped Iranian nationals conduct prohibited transactions, such as the purchase of computer software and servers.

NCA cyber crime investigators believe the platform had previously been utilised by international cyber criminals seeking target the UK.

Shahidian was wanted by the FBI when NCA officers tracked him down in London in November 2018.

He was under surveillance throughout his short sight-seeing trip, during which he visited a number of tourist spots, including the London Eye and Madame Tussauds.

He was ultimately arrested on 11 November 2018 by NCA officers, with support from the Met Police, on Stern St, Shepherd’s Bush, at the property he’d been staying at.

He was extradited to the US in May 2020 where he later pleaded guilty to conducting financial transactions in violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran.

He was sentenced on Thursday 15 October in Minneapolis, USA, to time served plus two years supervised release.

Nigel Leary, Head of Operations at the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit, said: “The arrest and extradition of Mr. Shahidian in the UK, along with his subsequent prosecution in the US, again demonstrates the successful collaboration of international law enforcement agencies to protect the public from cyber and financial crime.

“The NCA and FBI will continue to work in close partnership to target and disrupt serious and organised cyber criminals wherever they may be in the world.”

17 October 2020