US woman charged with ‘scheming’ for China

April 23, 2016 7:00 pm

File photo of a Navy Bluefin-21 underwater drone

Reports say a US woman has been charged with ‘conspiring’ to illegally export underwater drones technology to a state-owned entity in .
Media reports, citing an indictment, said Friday that Amin Yu, 53, of Orlando, Florida worked from 2002 until February 2014 to obtain systems and components used in marine submersible vehicles at the direction of her co-conspirators at Harbin Engineering University in China.
Yu was charged with 18 counts, including acting as an illegal agent for a foreign government, unlawful export and money laundering, Reuters reported.
Harbin Engineering University conducts research and development for the Chinese government and military, the indictment said.
The woman was a citizen of China and a lawful permanent resident of the while obtaining parts from companies in the , Canada and Europe.
In an email entered as evidence, Yu said at least one of the devices she had obtained, an underwater acoustic locator, would be used on an underwater drone.
If convicted, Yu faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison for each count of money laundering and a maximum of 10 years for acting as an illegal agent of a foreign government.
Navy said recently that it would keep an eye on Beijing’s activities in the disputed South China Sea waters by means of unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) or ‘submarine drones.’
The Pentagon has over the past several months talked publicly about a once-secret program to develop unmanned undersea vehicles or drone subs that are becoming part of the US plan to ‘deter China from trying to dominate the region,’ according to the Financial Times.
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