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2 sentenced in plot to export US military antennas

September 21, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two Singapore men have been sentenced in federal court in Washington for their roles in plots to illegally export 55 military antennas from the United States to Singapore and Hong Kong.

Lim Kow Seng, also known as Eric Lim, and Hia Soo Gan Benson also known as Benson Hia, were sentenced on Friday to 37 months and 34 months in prison, respectively. They pleaded guilty in June to conspiracy to defraud the United States by dishonest means.

Seng, 44, and Hia, 46, were arrested in Singapore in 2011 and extradited to the U.S.

According to court documents, the two conspired with others to defraud the United States by illegally exporting 55 cavity-backed spiral antennas and biconical antennas from a Massachusetts company to Singapore and Hong Kong without the required State Department license.

The antennas are controlled for export as U.S. munitions and are used for airborne or shipboard direction finding systems or radar warning receiver applications. Some are also used in military aircraft.

According to the documents, beginning in 2006, Seng and Hia conspired with Corezing International, a company based in Singapore, and others to export antennas from a Massachusetts firm.

The firm, identified only as Company B in court filings, manufactured some of the antennas.

Prosecutors say a conspirator agreed to sell the antennas to Lim without the required export license, and circumvented Company B’s rules to evade export restrictions.

Prosecutors say Corezing International and its principals also have been charged in connection with the export of 6,000 radio frequency modules from the United States to Iran via Singapore. Authorities say some of those modules were later found in improvised explosive devices in Iraq.

Seng and Hia had been indicted in that plot as well but pleaded guilty to only the one charge.

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