Ind-origin businessman plead guilty to charge of illegal export

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Washington, Mar 15 (UNI) The Indian-origin owner of an international electronics business has plead guilty to a one-count criminal information for illegal export of controlled microprocessors and electronic components to government entities in India.

This was revealed in a press release issued by the US Department of Justice. The components were used in the development of ballistic missiles, space launch vehicles, and fighter jets, it added.

Parthasarathy Sudarshan, 47, a resident of Simpsonville, South Carolina, entered his guilty plea on Thursday in the US District Court for the District of Columbia before the Honorable Ricardo Urbina.

Sudarshan pleaded guilty to the felony charge of conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Export Administration Regulations, and to violate the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

The court is scheduled to sentence Sudarshan on June 16, 2008.

US Attorney Taylor said, ''The defendant participated in a clandestine network that circumvented our export laws and put sophisticated technology in the hands of foreign companies that were listed as end-users of concern for proliferation reasons.'' ''By fraudulently acquiring and shipping controlled missile technology verseas, 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 its CEO, Managing Director, and President and Group Head.

Cirrus has offices in Simpsonville, South Carolina, Singapore, and Bangalore, India.

Among the recipients of US 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 press release said the US government has determined that VSSC participated in India's space launch vehicle programme and that BDL participated in India's development and production of ballistic missiles.

As such, both VSSC and BDL were on the Department of Commerce's Entity List and exports of US-origin commodities to these entities were restricted and required prior authorisation in the form of a licence from the Department of Commerce.

It said 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 US vendors, Sudarshan and others at Cirrus provided the US 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 licences for any of the shipments to VSSC and BDL. To further conceal from the US 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, the release stated.

In addition to supplying VSSC and BDL with components, the press release pointed out, Sudarshan acquired microprocessors for 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 US Munitions List, the State Department must licence any export of the products.

It said 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 licences for these shipments.


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