March 13, 2008

US company admitted to violating laws on export of weapons

A US company and the Indian head of an international firm have admitted to violating laws on export of weapons technology and nuclear power testing equipment to India. Decade-long US sanctions over illegal Indian nuclear tests prohibit US-based companies from exporting certain goods and services to India.

Parthasarathy Sudarshan, the Indian CEO of Cirrus Electronics with offices in the United States, Singapore and India, pleaded guilty in Washington to a charge of shipping restricted weapons technology to the Indian government. He admitted exporting controlled microprocessors and electronic components to Indian state entities involved in developing ballistic missiles, space launch vehicles and fighter jets.

Among the recipients were the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), an enterprise within the Indian Department of Space; and Bharat Dynamics, Ltd. (BDL), an Indian Defense Ministry enterprise. Both are on the US Department of Commerce's so-called Entity List. Exports of US-origin commodities to these entities are restricted and require prior authorization in the form of a license from the department.

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