Man Accused of Plot to Export Gyroscopes to Iran

Associated Press

A 41-year-old equipment dealer has been arrested with a gift-wrapped military gyroscope in his luggage and charged with conspiracy to export such instruments to Iran for use in American-made jets.

U.S. Atty. Joseph E. diGenova said Friday that he will seek a conspiracy indictment against Sung Bung Kim, head of two Washington-based companies that import and export electronic equipment, tools and heavy equipment.

Kim, of McLean, Va., a naturalized citizen, was arrested Sept. 18 and charged in a complaint with conspiracy to illegally export gyroscopes designed for four military jets--the F-5, F-15, F-16 and F-18--and the cruise missile.

If convicted of conspiracy, he faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Kim was arrested at National Airport as he and an undercover U.S. Customs agent, posing as an independent arms dealer, were about to board a flight to Tokyo. The gyroscope was in Kim’s luggage, agents said.


In papers filed with the U.S. District Court, the government said that agent Donald G. Bludworth had met with Kim in June. At the meeting, the agent said, Kim mentioned connections in London and Tokyo who sought to buy gyroscopes for American-made planes possessed by Iran.

Kim acknowledged that a U.S. export license was required to export the gyroscopes to Iran and that there was no chance of getting one, the affidavit said. It quoted Kim as saying, however, that he could avoid the licensing by routing the equipment through Korea, Austria or Australia.

Kim told Bludworth and Customs agent Bob Fischer, who posed as Bludworth’s partner, that he had often shipped items to the Mideast illegally, the document said.

Meanwhile, three West Germans and two Iranians were indicted in Las Vegas on charges of trying to ship 6,000 military radios to Iran in defiance of the ban on arms shipments there.

Named in the indictment were Bernhard and Rachel Bowitz and Michael Nass, all West Germans, and M.A. Yassi and Sayed Alavi, identified as Iranian agents.