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U.S. gov't charges supplier for shipping computer tech

Posted: 05 Apr 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:high-resistant memory chips? microprocessors? computer equipment?

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has formally charged Cirrus Electronics founder and CEO Parthasarathy Sudarshan for shipping closely monitored U.S. computer technology to India for use in missiles and other weapon systems, according to an AP reported. Sudarshan was arrested March 23.

Working with India government officials, Sudarshan ordered computer equipment from U.S. manufacturers using falsified documents regarding their destination, the federal prosecutors said. The parts were said to be shipped India through the company's offices in South Carolina and Singapore.

According to prosecutors, between 2003 and 2006, the Cirrus Electronics CEO was buying equipments for three Indian government agenciesVikram Sarabhai Space Centre, which researches spacecraft and ballistic missiles; Bharat Dynamics Ltd, a key agency in the nation's guided missile program; and Aeronautical Development Establishment, which is developing the Tejas combat jet. The U.S. Commerce Department prohibits exports to the said agencies.

Components shipped included heat-resistant memory chips, microprocessors, capacitors and semiconductors used in missile guidance systems and firing systems, according to the federal indictment.

Also arrested was Mythili Gopa, Cirrus Electronics' international sales manager. Unlike Sudarshan, who was ordered held without bail until his court appearance on April 3, Gopa was released, and is due to appear in court on April 17. Both are charged with export violations, international arms trafficking, being agents for a foreign government and conspiracy.

Besides Sudarshan and Gopa, Akn Prasad, head of Indian operations for Cirrus Electronics at its office in Bangalore, and Sampath Sundar, operations director who worked out of Singapore, have also been indicted but not arrested.

The prosecutors also identified but did not name "Coconspirator A," an Indian government official located in Washington. Though the official was not charged, prosecutors said he worked closely with the Cirrus and discussed official government reimbursement for company expenses.

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