Two Singapore men have pleaded guilty to plots to export illegally military antennas from the United States to Singapore and Hong Kong. The antennas were destined for Iraq for use in improvised explosive devices (IEDs) against Americans.
Forty-five-year-old Hia Soo Gan Benson aka “Benson Hia,” and 44-year-old Lim Kow Seng aka “Eric Lim” entered the pleas of guilty on June 26, 2013 in federal court in Washington. The two face a maximum of five years in prison and are scheduled for sentencing on September 20.
According to court documents, Benson and Seng plotted to export antennas from a Massachusetts company to Singapore and Hong Kong without the required State Department license. The antennas are controlled exports as U.S. munitions.
The military antennas were for use in IEDs used to attack U.S. troops. The United States says that, in 2008 and 2009, coalition forces recovered these same antennas in Iraq.
Given this fact, Benson and Seng appear to be getting off very lightly.
An indictment filed by the U.S. on September 15, 2010 had alleged 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 State Department license.
In Singapore, the original extradition charges were against an Iranian and four Singapore citizens. Unfortunately, Singapore judge Choo Han Teck ruled that two of the original gang, the alluring Ms. Wong Yuh Lan and Lim Yong Nam, had done nothing wrong by aiding in the transfer of US-made radio components to Iran via Singapore between 2007 and 2008. Choo Han Teck ruled that Singapore did not have “absolute prohibitions against trade with Iran” at the time the acts were committed. In other words, it was then legal for Singaporeans to aid and abet Iraq insurgents against America.
Choo Han Teck’s ruling was similar to the actions of Hong Kong, China and Russia in not turning over Edward J. Snowden to the U.S. authorities.
September 20, 2013 update:
Forty-four-year-old Lim Kow Seng was sentenced to 37 months and 46-year-old Hia Soo Gan Benson received a 34-month prison term. The sentences were handed down Friday in federal court in Washington for a plot to export illegally55 military antennas from the United States to Singapore and Hong Kong.
Benson and Seng plotted to export antennas from a Massachusetts company to Singapore and Hong Kong. The antennas are controlled for export as U.S. munitions. These antennas were used in bombs to attack U.S. troops in Iraq.
Benson is associated with the following addresses in Singapore: 111 North Bridge Road, #27-01 Peninsula Plaza, 2021 Bukit Batok Street 23, #02-212, 50 East Coast Road, #2-70 Roxy Square, Blk 8 Empress Road, #07-05, Block 1057 Eunos Avenue 3, #02-85.
Lim Kow Seng is associated with the following address in Singapore: 111 North Bridge Road, #27-01 Peninsula Plaza, 2021 Bukit Batok Street 23, #02-212, 50 East Coast Road, Blk 751 Woodlands Circle, #10-592, Block 1057 Eunos Avenue 3, #02-85.
In Hong Kong, Lim Kow Seng is associated with the following addresses: Flat/RM 2309, 23/F, Ho King COMM Center, 2-16 Fa Yuen Street, Mongkok KLN, and Flat/Rm 3208 32/F, Central Plaza, 18 Harbour Road, Wanchai.