A U.S. attorney said Wednesday a leader of a yakuza organized crime syndicate has been charged with conspiring to traffic uranium and weapons-grade plutonium from Myanmar to other countries.

Takeshi Ebisawa, 60, is accused of contacting an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agent, who was posing as a narcotics and weapons trafficker, in 2020 about the sale of nuclear materials to be supplied by an ethnic insurgent group in Myanmar, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York said in a statement.

Photo shows a sample of nuclear material supplied to a U.S. undercover agent. (Screenshot from indictment) (Kyodo)

When the agent introduced an associate posing as an Iranian general, Ebisawa offered to supply "powerful" plutonium, the statement said.

Ebisawa then presented the agent with a list of weapons, including surface-to-air missiles, he wanted to purchase from the agent on behalf of the leader of the ethnic insurgent group in Myanmar in May 2021, according to the statement.

In February 2022, the agent received from Ebisawa and his coconspirators at a hotel in Thailand containers holding what they said was yellowcake uranium concentrate powder.

An examination by a U.S. nuclear forensic laboratory showed that the samples contained detectable quantities of uranium and weapons-grade plutonium, the statement said.

Ebisawa was previously arrested and charged in April 2022 with international narcotics trafficking and firearms offenses in New York.

"It is chilling to imagine the consequences had these efforts succeeded," Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen said in the statement.