US charges 5 for devices sent to Iran, used in bombs

October 25, 2011 21:58

WASHINGTON - An Iranian and four people from Singapore have been charged by a US grand jury with smuggling thousands of radio transmitters to Iran, some later found in bombs in Iraq, the US Justice Department said on Tuesday.

The five were indicted on charges that they evaded US export control laws by buying 6,000 of the transmitters from a Minnesota company and shipping them via Singapore to Iran, where most US companies are restricted from doing business.

The devices, which can be used for long-range wireless data transmissions, were bought between June 2007 and February 2008 under the pretense that they would be used to set up wireless networks in commercial offices, the Justice Department said.

The indictment, filed in federal court and unsealed on Tuesday, said the transmitters were sent to Iran and that U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq had found at least 16 of them in unexploded improvised explosive devices (IEDs) between May 2008 and July 2010.

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