Pakistani Man Charged Over Shipments to Pakistan's Nuclear Program: USA
By EVAN PEREZ
WASHINGTON—U.S. prosecutors on Wednesday charged a Pakistani man with running a smuggling operation that shipped materials and equipment to the agencies operating Pakistan's nuclear program.
A grand-jury indictment in Baltimore accuses Nadeem Akhtar, 45 years old, who operated an export firm in Maryland, of obtaining the items from U.S. companies and illegally exporting them to agencies that are on a U.S. Commerce Department blacklist.
Prosecutors said the materials include radiation-detection devices, calibration equipment and nuclear-grade resins that can be used "directly or indirectly in activities related to nuclear reactors and the processing and production of nuclear-related materials."
Mr. Akhtar made a first appearance in court Wednesday and was ordered detained pending a hearing Thursday.
The indictment alleges that Mr. Akhtar worked with another man, not identified in the indictment. This man directed Mr. Akhtar with a shopping list and told him how to conceal where the items were being shipped, the indictment said. The unidentified man, also charged in the indictment, is believed to be in Pakistan and out of reach of U.S. authorities, according to court papers.
The indictment alleges that the men paid U.S. suppliers with funds transferred from Pakistan via Dubai to U.S. bank accounts, including Mr. Akhtar's personal accounts.
Mr. Akhtar was paid a 5% to 7.5% commission for shipping the items based on the cost of the equipment, according to the indictment.
The Pakistani agencies receiving the equipment include the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission and the Chasma Nuclear Power Plant, the U.S. alleged. Both are banned from receiving certain items from the U.S. for national-security reasons.
Among the alleged illegal shipments were orders in 2005 and 2006 from a North Dakota company that manufactures equipment to detect radiation. The items were shipped to the Chasma plant, according to the indictment.
In 2006 and 2008, Mr. Akhtar purchased equipment from a Massachusetts company used to control electrical circuits in nuclear power and fuel reprocessing plants, according to the indictment. The items were shipped to the Chasma plant, it says.
Wall Street Journal
Pakistani Man Charged Over Shipments to Pakistan's Nuclear Program - WSJ.com