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US - Marine tech smuggling to China

A Chinese national is set to plead guilty in an US federal court for having illegally procured U.S. marine technology for a Chinese military research institute. 60 hyydrophones or devices used to detect and monitor sound underwater were bought from a U.S. supplier and ultimately sent, without a required export license, to the Chinese institute that conducts military research and is involved in undersea drone projects. Exports also included UUV and robotic boats.

These kind of products are widely used in scientific research, ship maintenance and oil production, but are also potent tools for undersea warfare.

The U.S. authorities got him on the radrar while the businessman asked a Plymouth based supplier to sell him small undersea drones. They dispatched an undercover investigation agent to meet the Chinese citizen who moved to the U.S. back in 2014. They detained him in November 2017 when he returned from China at Boston's internal airport. His laptop revealed false identification of end-users on shipments to China.

Source: The Wall Street Journal (27 Apr 2021)

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