Ex-Marine Pilot Charged For Allegedly Attempting To Sell Military Services To China


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Micaela Burrow Investigative Reporter, Defense
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Former U.S. Marine Corps pilot Daniel Edmund Duggan faces charges of plotting to illegally sell military services to China and violating arms export control laws, according to a recently unsealed 2017 indictment, Reuters reported.

Australian authorities arrested Duggan in October at the behest of the U.S. days after the United Kingdom opened an investigation into China’s apparent practice of recruiting former military pilots to provide training for Beijing’s armed forces, according to Reuters. Duggan had worked as an aviation consultant in Beijing for nearly eight years before moving to Australia just weeks before his arrest.

A Washington, District of Columbia court unsealed the indictment on Friday alongside Duggan’s arrest warrant, Reuters reported. (RELATED: US Allies Sound The Alarm Over China Poaching Former Military Pilots)

The Australian government holds Duggan in custody in Sydney pending extradition to the U.S. where he will answer for four charges of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. by scheming to unlawfully export military services to China, money laundering and two counts of violating U.S. and international arms trade agreements, according to Reuters.

Duggan’s Australian lawyer, Dennis Miralis, has said that the former Marine has denounced his U.S. citizenship and denies the allegations of breaking the law, Reuters reported. “He denies having breached any U.S. law, any Australian law, any international law,” Miralis said in November.

Details of Duggan’s case have emerged slowly. While in Beijing, Duggan shared an address with businessman Su Bin, whom the U.S. arrested and imprisoned in 2016 for breaking into a major U.S. defense contractor’s computer system and stealing sensitive military aircraft designs, Reuters reported, citing documents and a former military pilot.

Duggan and Su Bin also worked together for a South Africa based flight academy which British authorities suspect is connected to the wave of fighter pilots recruited to train Chinese forces, Reuters reported.

Miralis has said Duggan is suffering mistreatment from Australia’s national security agencies and was erroneously labeled a “extreme high risk” prisoner and denied access to medical care and other comforts, according to Reuters.

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