- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A Taiwanese national pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Florida to charges of conspiring to export U.S. missiles and other military equipment to mainland China.

Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Julie L. Myers, who heads U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), said Ko-Suen Moo of Taipei pleaded guilty to being a covert agent of the People’s Republic of China during an appearance before U.S. District Court Judge Donald Graham in Miami.

Mrs. Myers said Moo also entered guilty pleas to charges of conspiracy to broker and to export defense articles to the People’s Republic of China, including one F-16 aircraft engine, Blackhawk helicopter engines, cruise missiles and air-to-air missiles; and bribery of a public official.

“The fact that this individual was plotting to purchase advanced U.S. cruise missiles for a foreign government is truly alarming,” she said. “This case demonstrates, in the clearest terms possible, the need to protect sensitive U.S. technology from illegal foreign acquisition.”

Sentencing has not yet been scheduled. Moo faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years on the conspiracy count, a maximum term of 10 years on the charge of failing to register as a foreign agent, and 15 years on the bribery count. He also faces fines totaling $2 million.

According to court records, since at least February 2004 Moo and others had been negotiating for the acquisition of numerous defense articles for illegal delivery to the People’s Republic of China, including F-16 engines, Blackhawk helicopter engines, AIM 120 air-to-air missiles and AGM-129 air-to-ground cruise missiles.

During the negotiations for this equipment, Mrs. Myers said, Moo traveled to the United States on two occasions, where he inspected an F-16 aircraft engine and wire transferred $140,000 to cover transportation fees for its delivery to an airstrip located inside the People’s Republic of China.

Prosecutors said Moo told cooperating witnesses he was an operative working at the direction and control of the People’s Republic of China. He disclosed that the acquisition of the F-16 engine was to be a test purchase, which if successful, would commence a long-term relationship during which Moo, on behalf of the People’s Republic of China, would acquire other items.

At present, the United States does not sell restrictive military equipment to the People’s Republic of China.

The court documents show that after his arrest, Moo engaged in conversation with two inmates regarding his ability to bribe his way out of jail and obtain dismissal of the underlying arms charges. They show that Moo agreed to pay a bribe to an assistant U.S. attorney and a federal judge for his supposed release from custody and dismissal of the pending charges.

The records show that Moo did not know the two inmates contacted law-enforcement officials and alerted them to his plan.

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