TWO ARRESTED ON SAIPAN FOR SMUGGLING ‘DEFENSE’ ITEMS

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By Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Jan. 29, 2008) –Two men indicted by the Western District of Texas for conspiracy to illegally export monolithic HEMT, or high-electron-mobility-transistor, amplifiers from the United States were arrested at a hotel here on Saturday.

These amplifiers are considered "defense articles" whose exportation requires a license from the U.S..

Ding Zhengxing, also known as Zhengxing Ding and Ding Zhenhxing, and Suyang, also known as Yang Su, were arrested at the Aquarius hotel by El Paso, Texas Immigration and Customs Senior Agent Nelson Miller.

The defendants were brought to the U.S. District Court for the NMI yesterday morning before Designated Judge David A. Wiseman.

An identity hearing was also heard to determine if the defendants are the same individuals indicted by the District Court for the Western Texas of Texas El Paso Division.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric O’Malley moved for removal of the defendants from the CNMI to Texas.

The court, after determining the identity of the defendants, ordered that they be remanded into custody and detained without bail until transferred.

The two defendants, along with another individual identified as Peter Zhu, also known as Zhu Xuliang, were indicted for conspiracy to illegally export defense articles, aiding and abetting the illegal export of defense articles, and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments.

The indictment stated that the U.S. president, through the secretary of State, has set forth publicly the U.S. Munitions List in the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

No defense articles on the list may be exported without a license for such export in accordance with the federal Arms Export Control Act.

ALH430 monolithic HEMT amplifiers and APH502 monolithic amplifiers are designated as defense articles on the U.S. Munitions List Category XI (a).

The indictment stated that on June 5, 1989, in the immediate aftermath of the June 4, 1989 violent suppression of the democracy movement at Tiananmen Square by the government of the People’s Republic of China, the president immediately and publicly suspended all licenses and approvals to export defense articles and defense services from the U.S. to China.

The U.S. Congress in 1990, approved the suspension and, in Public Law 101-246, made public findings and provided public notice that the issuance of licenses under the Arms Export Control Act for the exports to China "shall continue to be suspended."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Juanita Fielden stated in the indictment that the defendants, beginning on or about Aug. 1, 2006, and continuing to, and including, the date of the indictment, "did knowingly an intentionally conspire, combine and agree together to commit offenses against the U.S. by attempting to export from the U.S. defense articles without having first obtained from the Department of States a license for such export."

The indictment stated that on Aug. 27, 2006, Peter Zhu sent an e-mail message to an immigration and customs enforcement undercover agent requesting ALH430 monolithic amplifiers for export from the U.S.

According to the indictment, Peter Zhu, on different occasions from Sept. 13, 2006 to Aug. 21, 2007, sent an e-mail message to an immigration and customs enforcement undercover agent and spoke telephonically and discussed the purchase and delivery of amplifiers which were to be exported from the U.S.

Zhu "wire transferred a total of $10,500 to an immigration and customs enforcement undercover company as payments for the purchase of 100 ALH430 monolithic HEMT amplifiers in two separate occasions on Nov. 16, 2006 and Jan. 25, 2007."

Ding Zhengxing and Su Yang also sent e-mail messages "to an immigration and customs enforcement undercover agent to assist Zhu for the purchase and delivery of the amplifiers."

The three defendants beginning on or about Aug. 1, 2006. and continuing to and including that date of the indictment, "attempted to export defense articles."

Zhu on Nov. 16, 2006 and Jan. 25, 2007, "unlawfully transferred funds from a financial institution in the People’s Republic of China to a financial institution in the U.S. as partial payments for 100 ALH430 monolithic HEMT amplifiers."

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