- The Washington Times - Monday, September 10, 2001

A federal judge on Friday sentenced two men to prison terms ranging from two years to 30 months on their guilty pleas for conspiring to illegally send to Pakistan sophisticated camera equipment that could be used for military surveillance and reconnaissance.

U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz in Baltimore ordered Tauquir Khan, 36, a Pakistani citizen in the United States on a student visa, to 30 months in prison, and his brother, Tanzeem Khan, 34, a naturalized U.S. citizen, to 24 months. Both also were ordered to undergo two years of supervised release, although Tauquir Khan is likely to be deported.

"The sophisticated items sought by these individuals are used for battlefield surveillance and reconnaissance," said Customs Service Agent Allan Doody, who heads the Baltimore field office. "Preventing illegal military exports to global hot spots is a top priority for U.S. Customs."

U.S. Customs Service spokesman Dean Boyd said the two men pleaded guilty to attempting to export to Pakistan equipment identified as pan tilt-zoom cameras, which are used for unmanned aerial vehicles known as drones. He said that once installed, the cameras could be used for military surveillance and reconnaissance. Shipment of the cameras out of the United States was prohibited under the Arms Export Control Act.

Mr. Boyd said that in April 2000, Tauquir Khan, operating through a company known as Khan Industrial and Network Engineering Technical Solution (KINETS), sought to purchase the cameras from a Maryland firm, although the export license for the equipment was denied.

He said the denial by the State Department was based on Pakistan's detonation of a nuclear device and its ongoing conflict with India.

Mr. Boyd said Tanquir Khan, despite the denial, still wanted to purchase the equipment, although there is virtually no domestic U.S. market for the cameras. At that point, Mr. Boyd said, the Customs Service began an undercover investigation known as Operation Raven, and agents from the Baltimore field office spoke with the Khan brothers about the equipment on more than 40 occasions.

One of those conversations, he said, included a "third party" in Pakistan who was told the shipment of cameras to Pakistan would violate U.S. law.

Mr. Boyd said that by January, undercover customs agents had received $25,000 from the Khan brothers as payment for the cameras and had obtained several phony export documents improperly saying the equipment would be sent to Germany.


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