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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

05 March 2003

Text: Two Indicted on Export Control Act, Iranian Embargo Charges

(Department of Justice March 4 press release) (730)
Two Taiwanese residents have been charged with conspiring to buy U.S.
military technology for illegal export to Iran, the U.S. Department of
Justice announced in a March 4 press release.
Both men are charged with seeking to violate the Arms Export Control
Act and the 1995 embargo of technology and goods to Iran. If
convicted, they could be sentenced to five years in prison and fined
$250,000 each.
Following is the text of the March 4 press release:
(begin text)
U.S. Department of Justice 
United States Attorney 
District of Maryland 
Northern Division
March 4, 2003 
(410) 209-4885 
Baltimore, Maryland -- Thomas M. DiBiagio, United States Attorney for
the District of Maryland, Allan J. Doody, Special Agent in Charge,
Baltimore Office of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement
(ICE) and Joseph McMillan, Special Agent in Charge, Mid-Atlantic Field
Office of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), today
announced the indictment of two individuals for conspiracy to violate
the Arms Export Control Act and the Iranian Embargo.
On February 13, 2002, a federal grand jury in Baltimore returned an
indictment against En-Wei Eric Chang, age 28, a naturalized United
States citizen and resident of Taiwan, and David Chu, a/k/a Chu Loung
Hsiang, age 39, a resident of Taiwan. Chang and Chu are charged with
conspiring to export U.S. Munitions List items to Iran from the United
States through Taiwan and other locations.
Federal agents arrested Chu in the U.S. Territory of Guam on February
22, 2003. Chu appeared before the federal district court in Guam and
is scheduled to be moved to the federal district court in Maryland for
prosecution. The other defendant, Chang, remains a fugitive in Taiwan.
The Arms Export Control Act prohibits the export of items on the U.S.
Munitions List without obtaining the appropriate license from the U.S.
State Department. The Iranian Embargo prohibits the export of goods,
technology and services of any kind from the United States to Iran,
either directly or through an intermediary country.
The probe began after federal agents received information from the
Defense Security Service (DSS) that Chang had contacted a Maryland
company in January 2002 about purchasing satellite space images of
Tehran, Iran for export to Iran. Agents launched an investigation
using an undercover U.S. Customs Service business in Maryland.
According to the indictment, among the U.S. Munitions List items that
the defendants allegedly sought to purchase for export to Iran were:
early warning radar equipment, satellite images of Tehran, state of
the art night vision equipment and other military use technology. The
indictment further alleges that Chang and Chu communicated with
undercover U.S. Customs agents for several months via e-mail about the
purchase of cavity-backed spiral antennas. On July 31, 2002, the
indictment alleges that Chu wired $6,400 to undercover agents as down
payment for several cavity-backed spiral antennas. On January 13,
2003, Chu wired the remaining balance $6,400 to undercover agents to
complete payment for the antenna.
Cavity-backed spiral antennas, according to the manufacturer, are
components that are typically mounted on military aircraft to provide
pilots early warning that they have been detected by enemy radar or
targeted by enemy fire. These antenna systems can also help military
pilots locate enemy radar installations and pinpoint the location of
enemy radio communications for jamming or attack.
According to the indictment, the defendants agreed to receive the
antennas from undercover agents at a meeting in Guam. U.S. Customs
agents assisted by Guam Police arrested Chu at Guam International
Airport as he attempted to board a plane to Taiwan with the antennas.
If convicted the defendants could receive five years in federal prison
and/or a fine of $250,000.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by
indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some
later criminal proceeding. The indictment stems from a year-long
investigation by agents of the U.S. Customs Service (now known as ICE
as a result of the March 1, 2003 Homeland Security reorganization) and
the DCIS. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney
James Warwick.
(end text)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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