U.S. authorities said Wednesday they had charged a member of a Japanese criminal group with handling nuclear material sourced from Myanmar and seeking to sell it to fund an illicit arms deal.

According to a superseding indictment unsealed in a Manhattan court, yakuza leader Takeshi Ebisawa and co-defendant Somphop Singhasiri had previously been charged in April 2022 with drug trafficking and firearms offenses, and both were remanded.

"The defendant stands accused of conspiring to sell weapons grade nuclear material and lethal narcotics from Burma (Myanmar), and to purchase military weaponry on behalf of an armed insurgent group," said Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen of the Justice Department's National Security Division.