Pakistani Resident Of New York Pleads Guilty To Arms Exports To Malaysia
Jilani Humayun, 60, a Pakistani citizen and resident of Long Island, New York, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Manhattan to conspiracy to illegally export arms and to commit money laundering.
The charges carry a maximum prison term of 30 years and a $1 million fine. But the deal offers Humayun the possibility of a reduced sentence in exchange for full cooperation in future prosecutions related to the scheme.
Humayun is due back in court on Dec. 12. "I knew what I was doing was illegal," Humayun told U.S. District Judge Laura Swain as he leaned heavily against the defense table. His lawyer said Humayun, who has been free on bail, is "in very poor health."
Prosecutors said that in 2003 Humayun unsuccessfully sought a license to export military equipment to a Malaysian company.
But he then set up a company called Vash International and between January 2004 and May 2006 exported to Malaysia F-5 and F-14 fighter-jet parts, as well as Chinook helicopter parts, in 11 unauthorized shipments, prosecutors said.
Humayun told investigators he never knew who the "end users" of the items were, prosecutors said.
Known as the Tomcat, the supersonic F-14 was used by the U.S. Navy as a fighter plane but retired from service in 2006. The United States exported F-14s to Iran in 1976 when Washington still had good relations with Tehran.
Iran is now the only country using the F-14 and is one of many countries which use the F-5.
"As is well-documented in public reports, the sole customer of F-14 parts is the Iranian Air Force," U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia said in a statement at the time of his arrest. (Reuters India)
***** Why do these guys have a penchant for routing through Malaysia, illegal arms purchases destined for the Middle East? Is our security that lax or are we willing participants in terror and fraud? Whatever may be the case, our country's image takes another hit.
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