The United States accused former marine pilot Daniel Duggan of teaching Chinese aviators how to land on aircraft carriers and receiving more than $100,000 as commission.
Duggan is a naturalised Australian and the indictment against him, filed in the US district of Columbia, shows he received 12 payments of either $9,900 or $9,500, with receipts that cite ‘personal development training’, news agency the Guardian reported.
The US government alleges that the payments were made by an unnamed China-based business which also acquires military equipment and technical data for the Chinese government and the military.
The indictment citing an email written by Duggan also alleges that he, during his negotiations with the involved party, demanded payment which would set his children up for life.
Duggan allegedly taught the Chinese pilots at a flying academy in South Africa. The South African flying academy requires teachers to have ‘knowledge and experience in naval aviation meeting Nato standards’, the Guardian said.
The indictment also alleges that he negotiated directly with a Chinese citizen to provide additional services to the state-owned establishment. It says that these additional services were ‘evaluation of military pilot trainees, testing of naval aviation-related equipment, and instructions on tactics, techniques and procedures associated with launching from and landing on a naval aircraft carrier.’
It alleges that Duggan and his co-conspirators did not apply ‘for a licence from the United States government to provide defence services to any foreign nationals.’
The charges against Duggan are - conspiracy to defraud the United States by conspiracy to unlawfully export defence services to China, conspiracy to launder money and two counts of violating the arms export control act and international traffic in arms regulations, the Guardian said in its report.
The Australian federal police arrested Duggan in New South Wales on October 22 following a request from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Last month, the Australian government approved a request to extradite Duggan to the US to face charges.
Duggan’s lawyer Dennis Miralis said he will fight the extradition request and maintain his client’s innocence.
American authorities claim that Duggan was known by many aliases in China - Ding San Xing, Din San Qing, DSQ or Ivan.
They also claimed that the US State Department mailed Duggan in 2008 and said he needed to apply for a written authorization to provide training to a foreign air force.
They claimed that later in December 2010 Duggan received a payment of $9,500 weeks after he held a presentation titled ‘Personal Development Training: The Fighter Pilot’s Guide to Mission Success’, citing a Chinese business owner.
He stands accused of drafting a ‘multi-page assessment that reviewed aspects of the PRC’s aircraft carrier training program and proposed carrier aviation training-related services’ in March 2011, following which he received another payment.
The indictment alleges that Duggan and eight others including a former Navy officer were involved.
It also accuses him of using false information to acquire a T-2 Buckeye from the US to be used for training in South Africa.
Australian and British authorities have earlier warned regarding the practice of former military pilots being offered lucrative contracts to train pilots in China.
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