Chinese national arrested for selling parts used to enrich uranium
A Chinese national on business in Massachusetts was arrested for illegally supplying U.S. origin parts to end-users in China that are used to enrich weapon-grade uranium. Selling the U.S. parts is a violation of American export laws. Qiang Hu, a/k/a Johnson Hu, 47, was charged with conspiracy to violate the Export Administration Regulations and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (EARIEEP). The original complaint was filed on May 18, and unsealed after Hu’s arrest at his hotel yesterday. The complaint alleges “Hu has been the sales manager at MKS Instruments Shanghai Ltd. (MKS-Shanghai) since 2008. MKS-Shanghai is the Shanghai sales office of MKS Instruments Inc. (MKS), which is headquartered in Andover, MA.” According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Hu’s employment gave him access to MKS-manufactured parts, including export-controlled pressure-measuring sensors (manometer types), which are commonly known as pressure transducers. The pressure transducers are controlled exports because they are used in gas centrifuges that enrich uranium and produces weapons-grade uranium. Starting in 2007, Hu and others allowed thousands of MKS pressure transducers worth millions of dollars to be exported from America and ultimately delivered them to unauthorized end-users using export licenses that were fraudulently obtained from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The complaint also alleges “Hu and his co-conspirators used two primary means of deception to export the pressure transducers. First, the conspirators used licenses issued to legitimate MKS business customers to export the pressure transducers to China and then caused the parts to be delivered to other end-users who were not themselves named on the export licenses or authorized to receive the parts. Second, the conspirators obtained export licenses in the name of a front company and then used these fraudulently obtained licenses to export the parts to China, where they were delivered to the actual end-users.” Hu remains in federal custody and his detention hearing is scheduled for May 31. If Hu is convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison, as well as a $1 million fine. MKS Instruments is not a target of the federal government’s investigation into the sales of the pressure sensors. Assistant U.S. Attorneys William D. Weinreb and B. Stephanie Siegmann of the Ortiz’s Antiterrorism and National Security Unit are prosecuting this case. To read China’s stealth war strategy and why it’s working? http://www.examiner.com/article/china-s-stealth-war-strategy-why-it-s-working-part-one © Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserve.