New York authorities have charged 11 members of a network for allegedly exporting high-tech military electronics to Russia. They are accused of knowingly hiding the truth about what the equipment would be used for.
Prosecutors announced criminal charges on Wednesday against the 11 suspects, who are said to have procured classified electronic equipment for military purposes.
A Texas-based technology company Arc Electronics, as well as a Russian firm Apex, were also implicated in the allegations, announced in a federal indictment on Wednesday.
"The microelectronics allegedly exported to Russia are subject to strict government controls due to their potential use in a wide range of military systems, including radar and surveillance systems, weapons guidance systems, and detonation triggers," said the document from the Brooklyn federal prosecutor's office.
The scheme is believed to have been run since 2008 up to the present day, with prosecutors claiming the defendants lied about the true nature of what the hardware would be used for.
Arc, owned by Russian-American Alexander Fishenko, was said to have told US suppliers that it needed the electronics to produce traffic lights. A Russian-American employee of the company, Alexander Posobilov, is alleged to have told a Russian procurement company that it would have to ensure that the end-use recorded in one export license read "fishing, "rather than "fishing/anti-submarine" boats.
The companies face large fines if they are found to be guilty, while the individual defendants face possible prison sentences.
rc/ipj (AFP, AP)