WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A citizen of India living legally in South Carolina pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiring to illegally export weapons to India, authorities said Thursday. It was one of two cases involving illegal arms in India.
Parthasarathy Sudarshan, 47, of Simpsonville, South Carolina, headed a firm with offices in Bangalore, India, and Singapore. He admitted violating arms control laws by secretly trying to sell components for space vehicles, ballistic missiles and fighter jets to firms associated with India's defense agencies.
Jeffrey Taylor, U.S. attorney in Washington, said the defendant had "participated in a clandestine network that circumvented our export laws and put sophisticated technology in the hands of foreign companies."
He said one of those firms was an enterprise in the Ministry of Defense for the Government of India, and another was a unit within the Department of Space for India.
In the second case, a Minnesota company pleaded guilty to submitting false export licenses in connection with proposed shipments of nuclear components to India.
Prosecutors in Minneapolis said MTS Systems Corp. of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, was fined $400,000 for violating export laws.
MTS makes and sells test systems, including some determined to be involved in unregulated nuclear activities in India, prosecutors said.
The government said MTS did not apply for a proper license after an employee stated it was "extremely unlikely" that it would gain approval because the equipment could make a significant contribution to India's nuclear energy programs.
In 1998, the U.S. imposed economic sanctions on India after it conducted a series of nuclear weapons tests. The sanctions prohibit American companies from exporting certain products to India without obtaining an appropriate export license. E-mail to a friend
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