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Indian national, firm indicted by federal jury

An Indian national and a firm have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Washington on charges of supplying complex electronic instruments.

india Updated: Sep 12, 2008 17:39 IST

An Indian national and a firm have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Washington on charges of supplying complex electronic instruments used in missile delivery systems to listed entities in India including the government-own Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC).

They were charged with supplying the controlled goods and technology without the required licenses.

The indictment said that between August, 2001 and June, 2003, one Siddabasappa Suresh and Rajaram Engineering Corporation conspired to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), a statement of the US Department of Justice said in Washington.

It said Suresh and Rajaram Corporation caused the export of approximately 25 shipments of controlled goods from the US to Listed Entities in India including VSSC that comes under the Department of Space of the Government of India.

These transactions involved more than 100 controlled goods with an approximate value of USD 1,36,000, the indictment said identifying six shipments to VSSC of various controlled goods from 2002 through 2003.

"All of these transactions involved complex electronic instruments used in high performance testing and monitoring. These functions were essential in the research and development of launching systems, to include missile delivery systems.

"The defendants knowingly failed to obtain or apply for a license from the DOC authorising any of these transactions," the indictment said.

The investigation revealed that Suresh conspired with employees of an India-based subsidiary of Corporation-US (referred to in the indictment as "Corporation-India") to circumvent the export control laws of the United States by transshipping controlled goods through Rajaram to Listed Entities within India.

It said the object of the conspiracy was to evade the prohibitions and licensing requirements of the EAR by concealing the identify of the ultimate consignee of the controlled goods, thereby creating a larger market for these controlled goods resulting in increased corporate profits.

The Department of Commerce (DOC) is responsible for reviewing and controlling the export of certain goods and technologies from the United States to foreign countries.

In an effort to protect the national security and foreign policy of the United States, the DOC restricted the export of goods and technology to certain government, quasi-governmental and private entities that the DOC determined to be involved in nuclear proliferation.

Such entities were identified on the DOC's Entity List. Any export of the US goods and technology required a license from the DOC authorising such export. Failure to obtain a license prior to the export was a criminal offence.

The defendants were also charged with four substantive counts involving violations of IEEPA and the EAR.