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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Germans arrest man exporting equipment for weapons project

Karlsruhe, Germany- German federal investigators said Tuesday they have arrested a man accused of exporting equipment and parts for a weapons project in an unspecified nation outside of Europe. He is likely to be accused of acting on behalf of a foreign espionage service and breaching German arms export laws.

Federal prosecutors said he was arrested Monday near the western city of Dusseldorf.

Using a front business, he had purchased the equipment from another European nation, hiring a truck company in the southern German state of Bavaria to fetch it to Germany, then ship it abroad.

The prosecutors said the accused had succeeded "numerous times" since December 2005 in obtaining sensitive products using this trick. The manufacturers thought the equipment was bound for Germany.

There was no hint in the announcement about which country bought the equipment, though prosecutors said export permission would never have been granted if it had been sought. The man has been remanded into custody by a magistrate in the federal justice city, Karlsruhe.

The exports were described only as "goods, technical testing equipment and spare parts."

Police searched the premises of the transport company, two homes in Bavaria state, offices and homes in the Dusseldorf area, and a home abroad. Money used in the transaction was seized from bank accounts outside Germany.

© 2006 dpa German Press Agency
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