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Pakistani pleads guilty in US nuclear export case

The Justice Department said Nadeem Akhtar entered the guilty plea at a court hearing as part of a deal with federal prosecutors.

Washington: A Pakistani national pleaded guilty on Friday in a US court to conspiring to commit export violations in a scheme to illegally transfer nuclear-related materials to his home country from the United States.

The Justice Department said Nadeem Akhtar, 46, who lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, a Washington suburb, entered the guilty plea at a court hearing in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of a deal with federal prosecutors.

Under his plea agreement, Akhtar, who owned a company called Computer Communication USA, admitted that he and his conspirators used the firm from 2005 through 2010 to obtain or attempt to get various nuclear-related devices and equipment.

The items, which included radiation detection devices, resins for coolant water purification and calibration and switching equipment, had a value of more than USD 400,000.

The Justice Department said Akhtar took direction from the owner of a trading company located in Karachi who had business relationships with Pakistani government entities.

It said Akhtar`s co-conspirators included individuals in Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and New York associated with the owner of the Pakistani trading company.

Washington has long been concerned with Pakistan`s nuclear program, which included the development of atomic weapons and added to regional tensions with its longtime rival, India.

Akhtar faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a USD 250,000 fine at his sentencing scheduled on January 06.

Bureau Report

From Zee News

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