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Iraq arms smuggling suspect sent to US

BBC News BBC News 5/04/2016
US troops in al-Anbar province, southeast of Fallujah in 2005 © Getty Images US troops in al-Anbar province, southeast of Fallujah in 2005

A Singaporean man has been extradited to the US to face charges of illegally exporting US technology allegedly used in explosive devices in Iraq.

US troops in al-Anbar province, southeast of Fallujah in 2005: IEDs caused caused about 60% of American combat casualties in Iraq between 2001 and 2007 © Getty Images IEDs caused caused about 60% of American combat casualties in Iraq between 2001 and 2007

Lim Yong Nam is indicted for allegedly sending thousands of radio parts to Iran in violation of a trade ban.

The parts were allegedly sent from there to Shia militias in Iraq.

Mr Lim, also known as Steven Lim, had been detained in Indonesia for the last 18 months. He was indicted in 2010 for smuggling and making false statements.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges in a Washington court.

Mr Lim told US officials he was unaware of restrictions on US exports to Iran.

The US says that 16 of his radio parts were found inside improvised explosive devices (IED) in Iraq.

IEDs have accounted for most of the casualties among US soldiers serving there.

Mr Lim, 42, and several other defendants are accused of buying thousands of radio frequency modules from an unnamed Minnesota company and then lying to the US government by saying that Singapore was the intended destination of the goods.

The indictment describes IEDs as the biggest threat to US troops in Iraq and says they were responsible for about 60% of American combat casualties in that country between 2001 and 2007.

Prosecutors say that the modules were exported to Iran through Singapore.

"The illegal export of restricted US technology is extremely harmful to our national security," FBI Executive Assistant Director Michael Steinbach said in a statement accompanying the indictment.

"In this case the technology had lethal applications and was used in improvised explosive devices in Iraq, which endangered US and coalition forces."

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