On Thursday, the US Justice Department unsealed the indictment of a Chinese national living in Orlando, Florida, for charges of espionage, conspiring to defraud the United States, money laundering, and the unlawful export of items used in unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) to China.
According to the indictment, Amin “Amy” Yu operated Florida-based IFour International Inc. between 2009 and 2014, and Ohio-based Amin International Inc. from 2002 to 2009, for the purpose of procuring equipment and systems on behalf of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and Harbin Engineering University (HEU) – a Chinese University that serves as a research and development site for the military.
According to HEU’s website, the school has become the "main force of basic and applied ship research in science and technology in China, one of the key units of the Navy’s development t of advanced technology and equipment, and a developer of high-level marine technology in China."
Yu worked with five co-conspirators from HEU and PLAN to obtain and export equipment from companies based in Canada, Europe and the United States. The exported equipment was used in HEU and PLAN UUVs, remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROV), and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV).
The indictment lists the following items illegally obtained and exported to Chinese officials:
- Underwater acoustic locator devices, including a “power pinger”
- Underwater cables and connectors, including AWQ/XSL and MSSK/MINL Marine Cables
- PC104 computer processing units for mission, motion and video guidance computers
- 907 Multiplexers for digital signal transmission through fiber optics
- Underwater pressure, conductivity and temperature sensors
- Control sticks and button strips including the HG-XX Control Stick Mechanism
The defendant and her attorneys have not responded to press inquiries regarding the allegations, nor have they issued a formal statement on the matter to date.