US charges five men for illegally transporting goods to Pakistan's nuclear program

WION Web Team Washington Jan 16, 2020, 07.16 PM(IST)

Pakistan Nuclear Powerplant Photograph:( AFP )

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The men were accused of transporting the goods to Pakistan's Advanced Engineering Research Organization and the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission

The US government on Wednesday indicted five men for allegedly running an international racket smuggling US origin goods to Pakistan's nuclear program.

The five men identified as - Haji Wali Muhammad Sheikh, Ashraf Khan Muhammad, Ahmed Waheed, Muhammad Ahsan Wali and  Muhammad Kamran Wali - were charged by the US government for violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Export Control Reform Act.

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The men were accused of transporting the goods to Pakistan's Advanced Engineering Research Organization(AERO) and the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission(PAEC) without licenses through a front company based in Rawalpindi in Pakistan.

Jason Molina, a special agent with the Department of Homeland Security, said: "The alleged behaviour of these five individuals presented more than a violation of US export laws, it posed a potential threat to the national security interests of the United States and to the delicate balance of power among nations within the region."

The men who haven't been arrested were found guilty by a US jury last year with arrest warrants pending against them. The men are believed to be living in England, Canada, Hong Kong and Pakistan.

“The defendants smuggled US-origin goods to entities that have been designated for years as threats to US national security for their ties to Pakistan’s weapons programs,” John Demers, assistant attorney general for national security, said in a statement, adding, “This indictment puts the world on notice not to do business with these defendants and demonstrates our commitment to holding them accountable.”