A Singapore man, Lim Yong Nam (aka Steven Lim) was extradited to the U.S. from Indonesia (where he’d been detained since October 2014) to face charges stemming from his alleged role in a conspiracy to illegally export radio frequency modules to Iran. According to the U.S. Government, some of these modules ended up being used in roadside bombs targeting U.S. soldiers in Iraq.
Electronic modules diverted from Singapore to Iran
Lim, 42 years old, was indicted on June 23, 2010, for one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, one count of smuggling, one count of illegal export of goods from the United States to Iran, one count of making false statements to the United States government and one count of making false statements to law enforcement. The indictment states that between June 2007 and February 2008, Lim and others caused 6,000 modules to be purchased and illegally exported from a Minnesota-based company through Singapore, and later to Iran, in five shipments. At the time of the alleged activities, Steven Lim was an owner and director of a firm called NEL Electronics, Ltd., based in Singapore, which was claimed to be the ultimate destination of the modules. The modules were diverted from Singapore to Iran.
Sixteen modules found in unexploded IEDs
The modules, which allow communication between electronic devices, have numerous applications, including such benign uses as connecting printers and computers in an office environment. However, the modules can also be used in Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), which have been responsible for injuries and deaths of thousands of military service members overseas. From May 2008 through July 2010, coalition forces found at least 16 of these modules matching serial numbers of those exported and diverted by Lim in unexploded IEDs recovered in Iraq.
Appearing before a federal judge in Washington, D.C., Mr. Lim pleaded not guilty to the charges. He is currently being held without bail.
Jim McShane is a Sr. Consultant, Trade Compliance for Export Solutions -- a full-service consulting firm specializing in ITAR and EAR regulations.