Belgian Man Charged With Exporting US Military Tech to China, Russia

The goods include 'components used in missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, electronic warfare receivers, and military radar, according to the DOJ.A Belgian national is being charged with illegally attempting to export military technologies from the United States to China and Russia.The Department of Justice unsealed two indictments against Hans De Geetere on Dec. 6 for his alleged role in the scheme, which involves using several companies throughout the world to smuggle the goods to China and Russia.“As alleged, Hans Maria De Geetere orchestrated multiple smuggling schemes to unlawfully re-export advanced U.S. technologies to China and Russia,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen in a prepared statement.The technologies include “electronic components used in missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, electronic warfare receivers, and military radar,” according to the DOJ.Belgian authorities acting on intelligence from the United States executed search warrants at several houses and offices in the nation’s West Flanders province. The raids resulted in the arrest of Mr. De Geetere and several others, according to a statement by the Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s office.“We are grateful to the Belgian authorities for their coordination with U.S. law enforcement as they work to hold the defendant accountable under Belgian law,” Mr. Olsen said. Also Charged in Oregon, Texas The Belgian statement said that Mr. De Geetere was being investigated for the illegal export of dual-use technologies. He also is being charged in separate cases in the United States, in Oregon and Texas.Related StoriesA statement from the Treasury Department said that Mr. De Geetere led a multinational network that engaged in “procuring electronics with military applications for Russian end-users,” among other crimes.The network is alleged to consist of nine entities controlled by five individuals operating out of Belgium, Cyprus, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Russia, and Sweden.Mr. De Geetere’s activities are alleged to have spanned from 2016 through 2023 and involve several schemes to export sensitive technologies, including electronic circuits, surveillance equipment, and accelerometers used in navigation systems for military aircraft and missiles.Dual American-Belgian citizen Eddy Coopmans previously pleaded guilty to working with Mr. De Geetere in Florida to illegally export electronic circuits and surveillance equipment to China and Russia.The U.S. Department of Commerce announced that Mr. De Geetere and his two companies, Knokke-Heist Support Management Corporation and European Trading Technology BV, have been placed on a trade blacklist.The indictments highlight that De Geetere was operating in an environment saturated with undercover law enforcement and those working on their behalf.According to the document, Mr. Geetere was first implicated when a Pakistani citizen was caught attempting to illegally smuggle similar goods out of the United States. That individual agreed to cooperate with authorities, ultimately posing as a broker for smuggled goods on behalf of the government.The scheme was then carried out through a Texas-based LLC that claimed to be willing to violate export restrictions but was owned by law enforcement.The DOJ said that the effort was spearheaded by the Disruptive Technology Strike Force, an interagency law enforcement group co-led by the Departments of Justice and Commerce, and designed to target illicit actors, protect supply chains, and prevent critical technology from being acquired by authoritarian regimes and hostile nations.

Belgian Man Charged With Exporting US Military Tech to China, Russia

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The goods include 'components used in missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, electronic warfare receivers, and military radar, according to the DOJ.

A Belgian national is being charged with illegally attempting to export military technologies from the United States to China and Russia.

The Department of Justice unsealed two indictments against Hans De Geetere on Dec. 6 for his alleged role in the scheme, which involves using several companies throughout the world to smuggle the goods to China and Russia.

“As alleged, Hans Maria De Geetere orchestrated multiple smuggling schemes to unlawfully re-export advanced U.S. technologies to China and Russia,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen in a prepared statement.

The technologies include “electronic components used in missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, electronic warfare receivers, and military radar,” according to the DOJ.

Belgian authorities acting on intelligence from the United States executed search warrants at several houses and offices in the nation’s West Flanders province. The raids resulted in the arrest of Mr. De Geetere and several others, according to a statement by the Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s office.

“We are grateful to the Belgian authorities for their coordination with U.S. law enforcement as they work to hold the defendant accountable under Belgian law,” Mr. Olsen said.

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Also Charged in Oregon, Texas

The Belgian statement said that Mr. De Geetere was being investigated for the illegal export of dual-use technologies. He also is being charged in separate cases in the United States, in Oregon and Texas.
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A statement from the Treasury Department said that Mr. De Geetere led a multinational network that engaged in “procuring electronics with military applications for Russian end-users,” among other crimes.

The network is alleged to consist of nine entities controlled by five individuals operating out of Belgium, Cyprus, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Russia, and Sweden.

Mr. De Geetere’s activities are alleged to have spanned from 2016 through 2023 and involve several schemes to export sensitive technologies, including electronic circuits, surveillance equipment, and accelerometers used in navigation systems for military aircraft and missiles.

Dual American-Belgian citizen Eddy Coopmans previously pleaded guilty to working with Mr. De Geetere in Florida to illegally export electronic circuits and surveillance equipment to China and Russia.

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced that Mr. De Geetere and his two companies, Knokke-Heist Support Management Corporation and European Trading Technology BV, have been placed on a trade blacklist.

The indictments highlight that De Geetere was operating in an environment saturated with undercover law enforcement and those working on their behalf.

According to the document, Mr. Geetere was first implicated when a Pakistani citizen was caught attempting to illegally smuggle similar goods out of the United States. That individual agreed to cooperate with authorities, ultimately posing as a broker for smuggled goods on behalf of the government.

The scheme was then carried out through a Texas-based LLC that claimed to be willing to violate export restrictions but was owned by law enforcement.

The DOJ said that the effort was spearheaded by the Disruptive Technology Strike Force, an interagency law enforcement group co-led by the Departments of Justice and Commerce, and designed to target illicit actors, protect supply chains, and prevent critical technology from being acquired by authoritarian regimes and hostile nations.