U.S. firm admits nuclear&weapon-linked export violations

At first glance, this doesn't appear to be directly linked to the situation Sibel Edmonds had been trying to shine a light on with Turkey and Pakistan, but it's definitely worth exploring further.


A US company and the Indian head of an international firm have admitted to violating laws on export of weapons technology and nuclear power testing equipment to India, the US Justice Department said Thursday.

Decade-long US sanctions over illegal Indian nuclear tests prohibit US-based companies from exporting certain goods and services to India.

Parthasarathy Sudarshan, the Indian CEO of Cirrus Electronics with offices in the United States, Singapore and India, pleaded guilty in Washington Thursday to a charge of shipping restricted weapons technology to the Indian government.

He admitted exporting controlled microprocessors and electronic components to Indian state entities involved in developing ballistic missiles, space launch vehicles and fighter jets.

Among the recipients were the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), an enterprise within the Indian Department of Space; and Bharat Dynamics, Ltd. (BDL), an Indian Defense Ministry enterprise.

Both are on the US Department of Commerce's so-called Entity List. Exports of US-origin commodities to these entities are restricted and require prior authorization in the form of a license from the department.

"The defendant participated in a clandestine network that circumvented our export laws and put sophisticated technology in the hands of foreign companies that were listed as end-users of concern for proliferation reasons," US Attorney Jeffrey Taylor said.

"With this prosecution, the defendant will no longer be able to make a profit at the expense of our national security," he said.

In the second case, Minnesota company MTS Systems Corp. was fined 400,000 dollars after it pleaded guilty Wednesday in connection with submitting false US export license applications over proposed shipments to India, the Justice Department said.

The company admitted to two misdemeanor counts of "false certification or writing" by omitting critical information linked to test equipment for nuclear-power plants.

"In this case, the omission clearly was an attempt to disguise the end-use of testing structural components of nuclear-power plants," said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement Darryl Jackson.

In 1998, the United States imposed economic sanctions on India after it conducted a series of nuclear weapons tests.

The sanctions prohibit American companies from exporting certain goods and services to various Indian entities without first obtaining an export license.

Washington and New Delhi had signed a pact in 2005 for export of US nuclear technology to India but implementation has been delayed as the two countries work out complex international regulations governing such trade.

The 47-year-old Sudarshan faces a maximum punishment of five years in prison, a 250,000-dollar fine and three years of supervised release, a justice official told AFP. He is to be sentenced on June 16.

Sudarshan routed the products through his company's Singapore office and then sent the packages on to India to conceal that goods were going to entities on the Entity List, officials said.

In addition to supplying VSSC and BDL with components, Sudarshan acquired microprocessors for the Tejas, a fighter jet under development in India.

The microprocessors were necessary for the navigation and weapons systems of the Tejas.