WASHINGTON – Two individuals from Singapore have been extradited to stand trial in the District of Columbia in connection with an alleged fraud conspiracy involving the unlawful export of 55 military antennas from the United States to Singapore and Hong Kong.
The joint investigation is being conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Department of Commerce and the FBI, with assistance from HSI Singapore and the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls within the Department of State, which licenses and regulates the export and international sales of United States Munitions List items.
Hia Soo Gan Benson, aka "Benson Hia," and Lim Kow Seng, aka "Eric Lim" were arrested by Singaporean authorities Oct. 24, 2011, in connection with a U.S. request for extradition.
Benson and Seng each face one charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States by violating the Arms Export Control Act, and a potential sentence of five years in prison.
An indictment returned in the District of Columbia Sept. 15, 2010, alleges that Benson and Seng conspired to defraud the United States by causing a total of 55 cavity-backed spiral antennas and biconical antennas to be illegally exported from a Massachusetts company to Singapore and Hong Kong without the required Department of State license. These military antennas are controlled for export as U.S. munitions and are used in airborne and shipboard environments.
Benson and Seng are alleged to have, among other things, conspired to undervalue the antennas to circumvent U.S. regulations on the filing of shipper's export declarations to the U.S. government. They also allegedly used false names and front companies to obtain the antennas illegally from the United States.
The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Asuncion of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia and Trial Attorney Richard S. Scott of the Counterespionage Section of the Justice Department's National Security Division.