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Chinese man convicted of smuggling to China sensitive U.S. military communications gear

Posted by Author on May 13, 2010

(Reuters) – A U.S. jury convicted a Chinese national of trying to illegally smuggle to China sensitive communications gear used by the U.S. military and intelligence agencies, the Justice Department said on Wednesday.

Chi Tong Kuok, from Macau, China, was convicted on four counts related to attempting to have the equipment sent to Macau and Hong Kong. The equipment included an encryption device for Internet communications for the U.S. military made under contract by the National Security Agency, prosecutors said.

Additionally, he tried to buy a GPS device used by the U.S. and NATO militaries and a device used by American and NATO forces to load encryption software into their communications devices, they said.

U.S. law bans the export of such devices without permission from the State Department.

A San Diego jury convicted Kuok on all four counts late on Tuesday, including conspiracy to violate U.S. export laws, smuggling, and money laundering. He could face up to 45 years in prison. Sentencing has been scheduled for August 23.

After receiving a tip from a British company in 2006, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents spent three years undercover in a bid to catch Kuok, who used several aliases and e-mail addresses to try to buy the equipment……. (more details from The Reuters)

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