- The Washington Times - Monday, May 10, 2004

Federal prosecutors in New Haven, Conn., yesterday unsealed an indictment against two South Korean nationals charging them with illegally exporting military helicopter engines and thermal imaging technology to China.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, along with investigators from the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), arrested one of the men, Kwonhwan Park, also known as Howard Park, at Washington Dulles International Airport on April 1, where he was attempting to board a flight to China.

Mr. Park later appeared before a federal magistrate in Alexandria and then was taken to Connecticut, where prosecution is pending. He pleaded not guilty in an appearance Friday before Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel.

The second man, Sung-Ryul Chun, also known as Roger Chun, is a fugitive. Both are accused of violating the Arms Export Control Act.

ICE Assistant Secretary Michael J. Garcia said agents found helmet-mounted military night-vision equipment in Mr. Park’s luggage. He said the two men had been the focus of a joint ICE-DCIS investigation in the past two years.

Mr. Garcia said Mr. Park and his Malaysian company purchased two military helicopter engines from a Connecticut company and shipped them to China. He said Mr. Park applied for an export license with the State Department, but falsely claimed on his application that the engines were for the Malaysian military.

As the investigation continued, he said, Mr. Park and his associates attempted to obtain four additional engines for the S-70 Sikorsky military helicopter. Mr. Garcia said General Electric, the manufacturer of the engines, notified ICE agents in New Haven.

According to court records, when Mr. Park was interviewed at that time, he said the engines were for the South Korean army. Subsequent investigation by ICE agents determined this was also fraudulent and the South Korean army never ordered the engines, the records said.

Mr. Garcia said the helicopter engines purchased by Mr. Park’s Malaysian company were diverted to China and documents submitted in support of the sale were fraudulent. If convicted, Mr. Park faces life imprisonment and a $2.5 million fine.

ICE agents also arrested two persons in Boston last week, John Chu, 44, of Pasadena, Calif., and Zhu Zhaoxin, 55, of Shenzhen, China, on charges of attempting to illegally export military satellite and radar technology to China. Also, a Bridgeport, Conn., helicopter company, Rotair Industries Inc., pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in New Haven to illegally exporting military helicopter parts to undercover ICE agents posing as foreign arms dealers.

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