Indian company chief admits smuggling weapons technology

Sri Dharanee Performance Arts Theatre

WASHINGTON, March 13, 2008 (AFP) – The Indian head of an international electronics firm pleaded guilty Thursday to a charge of shipping restricted weapons technology to the Indian government, the US Justice Department said.

Parthasarathy Sudarshan, president of Cirrus Electronics with offices in the United States, Singapore and India, admitted to the felony charge of “conspiracy to violate” various laws, including the Arms Export Control Act and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

The 47-year-old Sudarshan faces a maximum punishment of five years in prison, a 250,000 dollar fine and three years of supervised release, a justice official told AFP. He is to be sentenced on June 16.

He was said to have provided export controlled microprocessors and electronic components to Indian state entities involved in developing ballistic missiles, space launch vehicles, and fighter jets.

Among the recipients were the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), an enterprise within the Indian Department of Space; and Bharat Dynamics, Ltd. (BDL), an Indian Defense Ministry enterprise.

Both are on the US Department of Commerce’s so-called Entity List. Exports of US-origin commodities to these entities are restri