A Taiwanese who was convicted of conspiring to export defense articles from the US to China on Tuesday was deported and returned to Taiwan, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said on Wednesday.
Ko-suen “Bill” Moo (慕可舜) was arrested in Miami, Florida, on Nov. 9, 2005, by US Homeland Security Investigations agents for trying to purchase sophisticated military parts, including an F-16 aircraft engine and an AGM-129 cruise missile, and export them to China without obtaining an export license from the US Department of State.
Prior to his arrest, Moo had shown undercover ICE agents, whom he believed were individuals who could get him an F-16 engine, a document indicating that Beijing also wanted to acquire AGM-129 cruise missiles, as well as AIM-120 air-to-air missiles. He was arrested when he went to inspect the engine.
The businessman had previously been Lockheed Martin’s top agent in Taiwan. Among the projects he was involved in while representing the firm in Taiwan were the Anyu 4 air defense program. He was also the principal sales agent on the Po Sheng “Broad Victory” C4ISR project, which has long been the focus of Chinese espionage and resulted in a series of arrests by US authorities during the same period.
While housed at the federal detention center in Miami, Moo had attempted to bribe several public officials to have the criminal charges dismissed. On May 17, 2006, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to export defense articles and failure to register as an agent of a foreign government — the People’s Republic of China. On July 24, he pleaded guilty to attempting to pay a US$500,000 bribe to win release from federal custody and later that month he was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in a federal prison.
Moo said his attempts to acquire military hardware for China began in 2004 and that he had worked with a Frenchman. They first sought to purchase UH-60 Blackhawk engines and then switched their focus to F-16 engines.
A Defense News report said Moo had intended to sell the F-16 engine to Shenyang Aircraft Corp, a major Chinese manufacturer of military aircraft and components.
A ICE press release said Moo was sent to the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia, on July 12, where he remained until his deportation. He flew from the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Tuesday, under escort of Enforcement and Removal Operations officers, and arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Wednesday. Moo, now 64, was then turned over to local authorities, it said.
However, judicial authorities said yesterday they had no information about Moo’s arrival.
Additional reporting by Rich Chang