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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Arms dealer jailed for 18 months over planned Syrian deal

Singapore - A convicted arms dealer was sentenced to 18 months in jail for conspiring to trade in strategic goods bound for Syria, news reports said Wednesday.

BR Chaandrran, 46, was found to have schemed with another man last year to deliver 20,000 assault rifles, valued at 3.4 million US dollars, to Syria, when he was not registered to broker such goods.

He is out on 50,000 Singapore dollars (32,000 US dollars) bail, pending his appeal against the conviction and sentence handed down Tuesday, The Straits Times said.

Chaandrran was the operations manager of Dannhauser International, which trades in military equipment and provides contract management services.

Colin Mak Yew Loong, the 30-year-old managing director of Swedish- based Protec Consulting, is serving a nine-month jail term for his role.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Lee Cheow Han pointed to the links between illicit arms trafficking and trans-border organized crime and terrorism, the report said. Before District Judge Jasvender Kaur, Lee cited the growing international concern that illicitly traded strategic goods and weapons might fall into the wrong hands.

Lee described Chaandrran as the 'brains' behind the plan to pass off the rifles as 'industrial machinery.'

Chaandrran stood to gain a profit of 200 thousand US dollars if the deal went through, Lee said.

© 2006 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur
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