Pakistani-American arrested for exporting high-performance computer equipment

Vastavam web: A 65-year-old Pakistani-American has been arrested for allegedly exporting high-performance computer equipment and software application solutions from the US to Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission without necessary government approval, according to federal prosecutors. Obaidullah Syed, who owned Pakistan-based Business System International (BSI) Private Limited and Chicago-based BSI USA, was arrested on September 16 and faces a maximum sentence of 20 years if convicted. He currently remains in federal custody.

Federal prosecutors said the two companies owned by Syed provided high-performance computing platforms, servers, and software application solutions. From 2006 to 2015, Syed and BSI conspired with company employees in Pakistan to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act by exporting computer equipment from the US to the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) without obtaining the required authorisation from the US Department of Commerce, according to an indictment returned in the District Court in Chicago.

The indictment charged Syed and BSI with one count of conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and foreign trade regulations, and one count of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. Syed, BSI and the other conspirators falsely represented to the US-based computer manufacturers that the illegal shipments were intended for Pakistan-based universities, Syed’s business, or Syed himself. As a matter of fact, they knew that the true end user and ultimate consignee of each shipment was either the PAEC or a research institute that trained the agency’s engineers and scientists, the indictment stated.