Malaysia transit for illegal arms? July 20, 2007Posted by elizabethwong in International, Malaysia, Readings, Southeast Asia.
By LARRY NEUMEISTER, The Associated Press
Thursday, July 19, 2007; 9:20 PM
NEW YORK — A Pakistani national was arrested Thursday on allegations he illegally shipped weapons to Malaysia, including fighter jet parts likely to end up in Iran.
Jilani Humayun, 59, was charged with 11 counts of violating the Arms Export Control Act, one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. The charges carry up to 150 years in prison upon conviction.
In court papers, federal authorities said Humayun formed a company, Vash International Inc., in January 2004 to export defense equipment including tanks, guided missiles and rocket launchers.
They said that he used Vash 11 times between January 2004 and May 2006 to export to an unidentified company in Malaysia F-5 and F-14 fighter jet parts and Chinook helicopter parts.
Prosecutors said Humayun admitted to federal agents that he did not know who the end users were for the items that were shipped. They said he also admitted that he undervalued the shipments on his export paperwork so the company could avoid paying Malaysian customs duties.
U.S. Attorney Michael J. Garcia said it is well documented in public reports that the sole customer of F-14 parts is the Iranian Air Force.
“The details of the crime with which Jilani Humayun is charged are particularly disturbing, as he is alleged to have knowingly shipped technology as dangerous as F-5 and F-14 parts to Malaysia without any regard for the ultimate destination,” Garcia said.
The director of the criminal investigative service in the U.S. Department of Defense, Charles W. Beardall, called the illegal export of U.S. military technology and weapons “one of the most significant and growing threats to our national security.”
U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald L. Ellis denied a request by a prosecutor Thursday to order Humayun held without bail. He set bond at $500,000 and ordered him detained at his home in Lynbrook after Humayun’s lawyer, Joyce London, described her client as a “true New Yorker” who rarely traveled and had visited Pakistan only once since coming to the United States in 1981.
The defense lawyer said Humayun lived with his wife and son and had to contend with illnesses including a heart condition, diabetes and high blood pressure.