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4 accused of plotting to ship weapons to Indonesia DETROIT (U.S.) - Four Asian businessmen plotted to buy hundreds of handguns, machine guns, Sidewinder missiles and aviation radar equipment for export to Indonesia, creating a threat to national security, federal prosecutors said Tuesday. The four men - who have been charged in Detroit and Honolulu - were arrested Sunday after meeting in Hawaii with people they thought were representatives of a Detroit-area company, which authorities say the men believed would supply the military hardware. It was to be shipped to Indonesia through Singapore.

Court papers didn't say whether the men were buying the equipment for the Indonesian government or whether it was sting operation. The investigation was run by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in Detroit, with the assistance of Defense Criminal Investigation Service agents from Ohio. "We consider this to be a serious and grave threat to our national security," U.S. Attorney Stephen Murphy III of Detroit said Tuesday. "The agencies involved in the case worked hard to arrest individuals who were ready, willing and able to buy American weapons and take them outside the country."

Charged were Hadianto Djoko Djuliarso , 41, of Indonesia; Ibrahim Bin Amran, 46, of Singapore, and Ignatius Ferdinandus Soeharli and David Beecroft, whose ages and nationalities weren't disclosed. An indictment in Detroit identified Djuliarso and Amran as owners of four companies: Indodial Pte. Ltd. , PBJV Global , Eaststar Logistics and Etaru Indonesia , all located in or doing business in Indonesia and Singapore.

Soeharli was identified as the financier for the purchases. Beecroft attended the meeting in Hawaii to arrange shipment of the items to Singapore and then to Indonesia, and was there to keep Amran out of trouble, court papers said. All four men were charged with conspiring to violate the U.S. Arms Export Control Act, which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Djuliarso and Amran also were charged with violating the export law and money laundering. The first violation carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and $1 million in fines; the other, 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines. The men, who are being held in Hawaii, will be transferred to Detroit to answer charges , authorities said.

Court papers said Djuliarso and Amran tried to arrange for the purchase of radar parts for military aircraft, 245 Sidewinder missiles, 882 Heckler & Koch MP 5 submachine guns, 800 H & K 9 mm handguns, 16 H&K sniper rifles and 5,000 rounds of strafing ammunition. Sidewinders are air-to-air heat-seeking missiles used on fighter jets. It is unclear from the court papers how the investigation began, and authorities would not discuss the matter. But what is revealed is this:

  • In April 2005, an employee of Indodial contacted a U.S. company seeking to buy military aircraft parts for export to Indonesia.
  • In June 2005, Amran traveled to London to meet with representatives of a U.S. firm to discuss the purchase.
  • In December 2005, Amran and Djuliarso met in metro Detroit with company officials for more discussions. During the meeting, both men said they wanted to buy the equipment without the required export license and Djuliarso endorsed the need to handle the transaction with secrecy.
  • In the months that followed, the men allegedly transferred $447,000 to a bank account in the Detroit area to buy the aircraft parts and discussed the purchase of $3.3 million worth of firearms.
  • On Friday, undercover agents picked up the men after they arrived at Honolulu airport. Two of the men traveled to Hawaii with their wives.
  • Over the next two days, court papers said, the men met with the "company officials" to finalize the purchase and to examine the machine guns. Court papers indicated they were arrested when they went to another location to examine aircraft parts.




Posted in General @ 12 April 2006 07:16 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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