Feeds

FBI floats $5 MEELLION bounty for alleged Chinese WMD purveyor

Chap accused of selling missile tech to Iran now has a big price on his head

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The US State Department has offered a $5m bounty for information leading to the arrest of Chinese businessman Li Fangwei for his alleged role as a major supplier of ballistic missile technology to Iran.

The latest efforts are part of a major push by the Treasury, Justice, Commerce and State departments to get their hands on Li and shut down businesses that they allege are a network of front companies that have been used to move millions through US financial institutions.

This is in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferators Sanctions Regulations, according to the State Department.

He’s also being charged with wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering.

The US authorities have been trying to arrest Li, also known as Karl Lee, for years, but very wisely he has not ventured from China or visited any countries with extradition treaties with the States.

“Whether motivated by greed or otherwise, Li Fangwei allegedly ignored sanctions imposed by the United States government and hid behind front companies he developed to engage in a series of illegal transactions, including attempts to acquire ‘dual use’ items on behalf of Iran-based entities,” said FBI director George Venizelos in a canned statement.

“IEEPA makes it a crime to wilfully violate US sanctions on designated countries such as Iran. Individuals and companies who evade US sanctions and misuse our banking system to further their illegal activity not only undermine the integrity of our financial markets but also threaten US national security interests.”

For his part, Li has pleaded his innocence, telling the Wall Street Journal in 2009 that his products are “sold everywhere in the world” and not used to make WMDs or ballistic missiles.

The US is unlikely to get its hands on the businessman, unless Beijing miraculously decides it would like the $5m on offer, but it hasn't been doing a bad job of strangling his business dealings.

The Justice Department claimed it has already managed to seize $6.89m from what it alleges are some of Li's front companies. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.