Four Singaporeans charged with smuggling roadside bomb parts to Iraq

Posted on 26 October 2011

Drones like these are used to deactivate roadside bombs, which are a top killer of American troops in Iraq. Photo: US Army

Four Singaporeans and an Iranian were charged by the United States government today for allegedly exporting US-made radio parts that were found by coalition troops in unexploded roadside bombs planted by terrorists.

The United States has requested for an extradition of the Singaporeans, who were arrested yesterday. The Iranian is still at large. Three Singapore-based companies were also charged for their involvement in the smuggling ring.

Such roadside bombs were responsible for 60 percent of US troop casualties in Iraq from 2001 to 2007.

The Singapore citizens arrested are: Wong Yuh Lan, Lim Yong Nam, Lim Kow Seng, and Hia Soo Gan Benson.

The parts were obtained from a company in Minnesota, but that firm was not charged because they were duped into thinking that Singapore was the final destination for the parts.

Thousands of these radio modules were reportedly brought out of the US, and 16 of them were found in the bombs.

“These defendants misled US companies in buying parts that they shipped to Iran and that ended up in IEDs on the battlefield in Iraq,” said US Attorney Ronald Machen.

“This prosecution demonstrates why the US Attorney’s Office takes cases involving misrepresentations regarding the intended use of sensitive technology so seriously. We hope for a swift response from Singapore to our request for extradition.”

The Singapore government has yet to issue a response on this matter.

For more, read here, here, and here.

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Terence is an online media nut that is obsessed with writing and publishing on the Internet. Recently, he took up photography to expand his repertoire, and hopes to learn videography soon. He has worked in both online and print publications such as The Straits Times, Today, Mind Your Body, The Online Citizen, and Funkygrad. He is currently the assistant editor with SGEntrepreneurs, a website that covers entrepreneurship in Singapore and Asia. Terence can be found on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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