Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Florida Private Investigator Robert A. Levinson, and Former FBI Agent, is Being Held in Iran Secret Prison says Sen. Bill Nelson.

Senator Says Former FBI Agent Who Vanished in 2007 Is in Secret Iran Prison; A U.S. senator revealed 1/13/09 that he believes a former FBI agent who disappeared in Iran nearly two years ago is being held in a secret prison, much to the surprise of the ex-FBI agent's wife.Sen.

Bill Nelson's comments on the disappearance of Robert Levinson came during Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's secretary of state confirmation hearing in Washington.

"I haven't received any information about my husband," Levinson's wife, Christine, told The Associated Press.Robert A. Levinson, a Florida private detective and former FBI agent, went missing on Iran's Kish Island in March 2007.

P.I. Robert Levinson has investigated Russian organized crime, Mr. Levinson was living in Coral Springs Florida.

P.I. Robert Levinson worked 30 years for the FBI and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and was employed as a private investigator at the time of his March 8, 2007 disappearance in Iran.

CIGARETTE SMUGGLING....Levinson disappeared during a trip to Kish Island in southern Iran. His wife said she had no idea what he was doing there, but noted that it was related to his job running a consulting firm. She told CNN that she believes Levinson met with Dawud "Salahuddin", an American fugitive who lives in Iran, shortly before Levinson's disappearance and that a man purporting to be Salahuddin called her "right when he disappeared."

"He said it was going to be fine and he'd [Levinson] be home in a couple days," Christine Levinson said, adding "that's the only contact" she has had from Iran. Last month, "Salahuddin" -- known in Iran as Hassan Abdulrahman -- told reporters that he saw Levinson shortly before he disappeared on Kish Island.

Dawud Salahuddin was born David T. Belfield in Roanoke Rapids, NC on November 10, 1950. He is most famous for the alleged murder of Iranian dissident Ali Akbar Tabatabai in Bethesda, MD in 1980. Salahuddin grew up in Bayshore, Long Island in a Baptist family, and attended Howard University for one semester. Dawud Salahuddin aka Dave Belfield is currently working as an editor for Press TV, the Tehran-based English language international television news channel which is funded by the Iranian government.

"Salahuddin" said he met Levinson at a hotel on Kish on March 8 in an effort to put Levinson in touch with Iranian authorities to help him investigate cigarette smuggling, as part of his contract work for a tobacco company.

This would be at the top end where the counterfeit cigarettes are re-packaged then shipped (smuggled) into US Ports like New York, New Jersey, Miami and Tampa Fl. Counterfeit cigarettes are openly sold in NYC at many local shops and are expertly made to look like famous British, American and European brands.

All over Chinatown NYC, cigarette butts dot the sidewalks: blue, white and brown ends labeled with names like Seven Wolves in Chinese, Shuanxshi and Yes in English. But the most common name is Marlboro Lights which go for $70.00 per carton retail in NYC.

The stubs are tangible evidence of the ready supply of illegal cigarettes in Chinatown, available at sidewalk stalls and variety stores, where they typically sell for $4 a pack — as much as $3.50 less than those sold legally. They include Chinese brands and knockoffs of popular American brands (Marlboro Lights) smuggled into the United States at $8.00 per carton, then sold retail at $70.00 per carton, all untaxed.

See my prior post, Friday, May 09, 2008, Cigarette Smugglers in New York City Funnel Money to Terror Groups...counterfeit cigarette sales are a major component in the financial support of terrorism, Florida Private investigator and ex-FBI agent Robert Levinson is an American hero.

Robert Levinson's Iranian contact, "Salahuddin", had converted to Islam and was given refuge in Iran after admitting in interviews to killing Ali Akbar Tabatabai, a former Iranian diplomat under the Shah, in Maryland in 1980.

He has repeatedly expressed a desire to return to the United States. "Salahuddin" said he was detained by Iranian officials in plain clothes and taken away from the room he shared with Levinson to be interrogated about his Iranian passport.

When he was freed the next day, he said, he was told by Iranian officials that Levinson had returned to Dubai (a lie). His story matches accounts that friends of Levinson's tell. They say Levinson feared he would be arrested after his meeting with "Salahuddin".

The U.S. does not have formal diplomatic ties with Iran and uses the Swiss government as an intermediary. Iran has refused access to Swiss investigators seeking to visit Kish Island.

After the disappearance of private investigator Robert Levinson, Iranian authorities stated that they had no knowledge of Levinson's disappearance or whereabouts. Levinson's wife, Christine Levinson, has led an effort to press both the U.S. and Iranian governments to pursue the case.

Her crusade was taken up by the U.S. Senate in November 2008, when Florida Senator Bill Nelson introduced a resolution to press the Iranian regime for information on Levinson.

Sen. Bill Nelson revealed on January 13, 2009, that he believed Levinson was being held in a secret Iran prison. Despite Nelson's personal revelations, Levinson's wife maintained that she had heard no news on her husband's whereabouts.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the U.S. State Department or the Levinson family at

Bill Warner
private investigator
WBI Inc Private Detective Agency
Sarasota Fl