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Tue, May 11, 2004

PSSSST... Wanna Buy A Helicopter Engine?

Koreans Accused Of Illegally Trafficking In S-70 Powerplants

Two South Koreans have been indicted by a federal court in Bridgeport (CT) on charges of illegally shipping -- get this -- two S-70 turbine engines for a Black Hawk helicopter to China.

Federal prosecutors say Kwonhwan Park and Sung-Ryul Chun had four more on order, too. They're accused of telling the State Department that the engines, built by Sikorsky, were headed for the Malaysian and South Korean armies. Diverting the engines to China would cause a few wrinkled brows at the State Department because of a little legal ditty called the Arms Export Control Act.

Park was arrested last month while trying to board a flight from Dulles International Airport (VA) to Beijing while carrying parts for night vision goggles, according to federal court documents. He pleaded not guilty Monday.

Chun is still on the loose. Federal authorities have issued a warrant for his arrest. The federal indictment doesn't say where Park and Chun got the money for the million-dollar engines. Nor does it say whether those that were indeed shipped to China had been recovered.

FMI: www.atf.gov/pub/fire-explo_pub/aeca.htm

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