- The Washington Times - Monday, January 9, 2012

A Pakistani national was sentenced Friday in federal court in Baltimore to three years in prison for conspiring to commit export violations and to defraud the United States in a scheme to export nuclear-related materials to Pakistan.

Nadeem Akhtar, 46, of Silver Spring, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz as part of a plea agreement in which the lawful permanent U.S. resident admitted to conspiring with others to obtain radiation detection devices, resins for coolant water purification, calibration and switching equipment, and refinishing abrasives for export to restricted entities in Pakistan.

The government said Akhtar, from October 2005 to March 2010, used his own company, Computer Communication USA, as a front to obtain the equipment, which is used in commercial and military applications.

A license would be required to export these items to buyers or if exported in support of a prohibited end-use, such as activities related to related to nuclear explosives, nuclear reactors, or the processing and production of nuclear-related materials. Other items Akhtar unlawfully procured or exported to restricted entities in Pakistan include mechanical and electrical valves, cranes, and scissors lifts, the government said.

The total worth of the items exceeded $400,000.

The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein in Maryland. The sentence also included two years of supervised release

“The United States regulates the export of items that can be used in nuclear facilities, requiring a purchaser to truthfully disclose the end user,” Mr. Rosenstein said. “Nadeem Akhtar conspired to violate export regulations by selling controlled items while misrepresenting what they were and to whom they would be sold.”

FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely, whose office investigated the case, said the “fast-paced nature of this changing world” had created new challenges in preventing nuclear technology from falling into the hands of those hostile to U.S.

“Nowhere in the national security arena is the FBI’s alliance with private industry as important in preserving the security of this country,” he said.

Mr. Rosenstein said the restricted entities in Pakistan included “organizations of concern” to the U.S. government “acting contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.”

They included Pakistan’s Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission, the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, the Chashma Nuclear Power Plant I in Kundian, Pakistan, and the research reactor maintained by the Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences in Nilhore, Pakistan.

Federal authorities said Akhtar attempted to evade export and licensing requirements by undervaluing and falsely describing the items being exported; failing to reveal the true end-user by using third parties and real and fake businesses in the U.S., Pakistan and Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and using persons in Illinois and California to procure items for him under false pretenses.

The authorities said Akhtar shipped items to his home in Maryland so it would appear his company was the actual purchaser and then sent the items from the U.S. through the United Arab Emirates.

Akhtar took direction from the owner of a trading company located in Karachi, Pakistan, that had business relationships with Pakistani governmental entities, authorities said. The orders were for nuclear-related and other commodities from the Pakistani government entities named in the conspiracy.

Authorities said Akhtar negotiated prices with manufacturers and suppliers and arranged for their shipment.

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