- The Washington Times - Friday, February 10, 2006

A federal grand jury in Florida has indicted two men, one from Taiwan and the other from France, on charges of conspiring to illegally send military equipment — including an F-16 jet aircraft engine — to the People’s Republic of China.

U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta said the nine-count indictment accuses Ko-Suen Moo, of Taipei, Taiwan; and Maurice Serge Voros, of Paris, with various violations of the Arms Export Control Act involving the illegal brokering and attempted export of prohibited defense articles to China.

Trial in the case is pending before U.S. District Judge Donald L. Graham in Miami.

Mr. Moo additionally was charged with being a Chinese covert agent, bribery, obstruction of justice and money laundering in connection with his purported efforts to pay $500,000 through an intermediary for his release from incarceration.

Arrested in Miami in November, Mr. Moo has remained in custody since pleading not guilty to a prior indictment naming him on illegal-export charges. Mr. Voros remains at large.

Mr. Moo, an ethnic Chinese citizen of South Korea, was the representative for U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin in Taiwan for nearly 10 years.

A rising amount of money being spent by China on its military has alarmed U.S. officials, concerned that the military balance in the Asia-Pacific region could be altered. Much of that spending has gone toward a buildup of Chinese missiles pointed at Taiwan, which Beijing has threatened to seize if the island moves toward formal independence.

“This case highlights the national security threat posed when agents of a foreign government seek to illegally acquire and export American military weaponry,” Mr. Acosta said. “We will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute foreign agents whose motives and actions are, by definition, detrimental to … our national security.”

In addition to the aircraft engine, the two men are accused of attempting to acquire Black Hawk helicopter engines, cruise missiles and air-to-air missiles. They are accused of attempting to buy and ship 70 Black Hawk engines to China, but determined that the F-16 engine was more of a priority.

U.S. immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesman Dean Boyd said the men, if convicted, would face prison terms of up to 20 years.

Mr. Boyd said that since February 2004, Mr. Moo and Mr. Voros were negotiating for numerous defense articles for delivery to China; that during those negotiations, Mr. Moo traveled to this country on two occasions; and that Mr. Moo inspected an F-16 aircraft engine and wire-transferred $140,000 for fees to deliver it to an airstrip inside China.

“In the post-September 11 world, keeping sensitive U.S. military components from falling into the wrong hands has never been more important,” said ICE Special Agent in Charge Jesus Torres, who heads the agency’s Miami field office.

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