Singapore considers extradition review of suspected conspirators

Story highlights

  • The United States has requested the extradition of suspected conspirators
  • Prosecutors say U.S. electronics turned up in unexploded improvised explosives in Iraq
  • Thousands of such modules were shipped to Iran, officials say
Singapore authorities said Wednesday they are reviewing a U.S. request for the extradition of four men believed to be part of a conspiracy in which electronic components from the United States were sent to Iran and ended up in explosives in Iraq.
Wong Yuh Lan, Lim Yong Nam, Lim Kow Seng and Hia Soo Gan Benson, citizens of Singapore, were arrested there Monday.
A court date is expected to be set for authorities to determine whether there are sufficient grounds for extradition, according to a Singapore attorney general's statement released Wednesday. The United States has been seeking the extradition of the men.
A fifth man, meanwhile, remains at large, authorities said. He is identified as an Iranian citizen and resident named Hossein Larijani.
The five men and four companies they are involved with were named in an indictment handed down in September of 2010 that has just been unsealed.
The indictment charges the men conspired to buy 6,000 radio frequency modules from a company in Minnesota and ship them through Singapore to Larijani in Iran.
Prosecutors say at least 16 of the modules turned up in unexploded improvised explosive devices in Iraq in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
U.S. officials say they do not know what became of the thousands of other modules shipped to Iran.
Prosecutors allege the defendants told the Minnesota company Singapore was the final destination for the components and also filed false paperwork with the U.S. government saying the parts would be used in a Singapore telecommunications project.
Larijani and the others face charges including conspiracy to defraud the United States, illegal export of goods from the United States to Iran, illegal export of defense articles from the United States, smuggling, false statements, and obstruction of justice.