Taiwan man sentenced to two years ın US prison for breaking North Korea sanctions
WASHINGTONMar 17, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
Mar 17, 2015 12:00 am
A former Taiwan resident was sentenced Monday in federal court in Chicago to two years in prison for conspiring to sell equipment to North Korea for use in producing and exporting weapons of mass destruction.
Hsien Tai "Alex" Tsai, 69, pleaded guilty in October to conspiring to violate US regulations against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
At sentencing on Monday, Judge Charles Norgle acknowledged Tsai's "substantial assistance ... to the government in its investigation of weapons of mass destruction proliferators."
Tsai was designated by the US in 2009 as a proliferator of weapons of mass destruction, for doing business with the Korea Mining Development Trading Corp, which the US alleges is North Korea's main exporter of ballistic missile technology.
He was arrested in May 2013 in Estonia and later extradited to the United States, where he remains in federal custody.
"Aggressive enforcement of US laws targeting those who supply goods, services or other support to proliferators of weapons of mass destruction is vital to ensuring global safety," US Attorney Zachary Fardon said.
"As this case demonstrates, companies and individuals who seek to evade these laws will confront an international law enforcement community working cooperatively and effectively to stem these threats."
Court documents link Tsai with three Taiwan-based companies - Global Interface Company Inc, Trans Merits Co Ltd, and Trans Multi Mechanics Co Ltd - that purchased and exported or attempted to export high-precision metal-fabricating machinery from the US and other countries.
Tsai admitted involvement "in multiple commercial and financial transactions to undermine the sanctions against WMD proliferations," including the 2009 purchase and export of a high-precision hole grinder from a machine-tools company based outside Chicago, according to a Justice Department document.
"Hsien Tai Tsai violated a critical sanctions regime and undermined and interfered with US efforts to disrupt North Korea's weapons of mass destruction and advanced weapons programs," Assistant Attorney General John Carlin said.