National Security Question
According to an FBI press release:
By fraudulently acquiring and shipping controlled missile technology overseas, this defendant violated both our federal law and our national security. It is fitting that he stands convicted and faces a serious penalty for his criminal conduct,” said Assistant Attorney General Wainstein.
According to court documents filed by the government, Sudarshan did business as Cirrus Electronics (“Cirrus”) and held himself out to be Cirrus’ CEO, Managing Director, and President and Group Head. Cirrus has offices in Simpsonville, South Carolina, Singapore, and Bangalore, India.
Among the recipients of U.S. technology in this case were the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), an enterprise within the Department of Space of the Government of India, and Bharat Dynamics, Ltd. (BDL), an enterprise within the Ministry of Defence of the Government of India.
The U.S. government has determined that VSSC participates in India’s space launch vehicle program and that BDL participates in India’s development and production of ballistic missiles. As such, both VSSC and BDL are on the Department of Commerce’s Entity List and exports of U.S.-origin commodities to these entities are restricted and require prior authorization in the form of a license from the Department of Commerce.
Between 2002 and 2006, Sudarshan acquired electrical components with applications in missile guidance and firing systems in the United States for VSSC and BDL. In particular, in the case of at least two U.S. vendors, Sudarshan and others at Cirrus provided the U.S. companies with fraudulent certificates that claimed that the end-users of these electrical components were non-restricted entities in India, when, in fact, the items were for VSSC. There were no export licenses for any of the shipments to VSSC and BDL. To further conceal from the U.S. government that goods were going to entities in India on the Department of Commerce Entity List, Sudarshan would route the products through its Singapore office and then send the packages on to India.
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. Because the microprocessors are on the U.S. Munitions List, the State Department must license any export of the products. On two occasions in 2004 and 2006, Cirrus caused the shipment of a total of 500 microprocessors to the Aeronautical Development Establishment, an enterprise within the Ministry of Defence of the Government of India that was responsible for the development of the Tejas. There were no licenses for these shipments.
Okaaaay .. but I gotta ask, why on earth do we allow this type of technology to be shipped to non-restricted entities in India? Does that make sense? I’m not feelin the national security folks!