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Arms dealer's dad wanted 'nice' doctor son

  • Story Highlights
  • 22-year-old arms dealer faces congressional inquiry
  • Company supplied ammunition made in China decades ago
  • Company's contract called for bullets made in Hungary
  • Grandfather says dealer, 22, had "gift" for weaponry
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(CNN) -- Efraim Diveroli's father hoped his son would become a doctor or lawyer.


Efraim Diveroli, 22, is doing his "patriotic" duty as an arms dealer, his grandfather says.

What he got instead is a 22-year-old international arms dealer who faces a congressional inquiry for allegedly selling old Chinese ammunition to the U.S. military to equip allies in Afghanistan.

Diveroli is president of AEY Inc., a South Florida company which, according to U.S. government documents, has done more than $10 million of business with the U.S. government since 2004.

The papers also reveal the company struck it big in 2007 with contracts totaling more than $200 million to supply ammunition, assault rifles and other weapons to the Afghan National Army and police. The company's contract said it would get the ammunition from Hungary.

But Army investigators found what the Afghan military got included corroded ammunition made in China as long as 46 years ago.

The New York Times reported Thursday that AEY shopped stockpiles and ammo dumps in old Soviet bloc allies, from Albania to Kazakhstan. Albania was a big customer for Chinese armaments in the 1960s and '70s, the Times reported.

Angelo Diveroli, Efraim's grandfather, told CNN affiliate WPLG-TV that his grandson is being targeted by "jealous competitors" in the international arms market.

Since he was a boy, the grandfather said, Efraim Diveroli has known his way around weapons. Read the WPLG story

"He's a genius about anything to do with weapons," the 72-year-old says. "Ever since he was a little boy, I would take him to gun shows and he could identify every model of guns. People would ask: How can he do that so young? He has a gift, I would tell them.''

Michael Diveroli, Efraim's father, told CNN affiliate WFOR-TV that he wished his son had turned his intellect elsewhere.

He said Efraim was "a boy genius" who is "hard to control." Read the WFOR story

"I would prefer he became a nice Jewish doctor or lawyer rather than an arms dealer," WFOR quoted Michael Diveroli as saying. Video Watch how father says son runs his own show »

But his son seem to have a good idea of the circles he was running in.

"What goes on in the Albanian Defense Ministry," the New York Times quoted him as saying. "Who's clean? Who's dirty? Don't want to know about it."

On a MySpace page Efraim Diveroli last updated in 2005, he says "I probably grew up way to (sic) fast."

But in a hint of where the then-19-year-old's future was heading, he wrote, "I definately (sic) have the desire to be very successful in my business and this does take up alot (sic) of my time."

The MySpace page also hints of his need for thrills.

"I'm one of those guys who needs to be entertained and having lots of fun all the time so if your (sic) also an undiagnosed case of ADD look me up," it says. He lists the weapon-heavy films "Heat" and "Scarface" among his favorites.

A CNN search of Diveroli's Florida criminal record shows arrests, but no convictions, on offenses from misdemeanor battery to felony possession of stolen property.

He has yet to appear in court on a March 3 arrest for driving under the influence.

For now, relatives say Efraim Diveroli is out of the country. CNN attempts to contact him have not been successful.

His grandfather told WPLG that Diveroli is now in Turkey or Albania doing his "patriotic" duty. "He's all over the world getting what the military needs," Angelo Diveroli says.

But in a MySpace message exchange with Radar magazine, a person thought to be David Packouz, a 25-year-old who was AEY's vice president, refers to Efraim Diveroli as "my former scumbag partner" and says he is motivated by money.


"Efraim Diveroli has a serious psychological illness called 'extreme greed,' " Radar quotes him as writing in a report on its Web site.

Packouz would not discuss AEY with CNN on Friday, saying he had no comment "because of the ongoing investigation." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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