Chicago man accused of allegedly exporting computer equipment to Pakistani nuclear agency

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Pakistani American businessman Obaidullah Syed (65) from Chicago, Illinois was arrested Sept.16, 2020, for allegedly exporting computer equipment illegally from the United States to a nuclear research agency of the Pakistani government.

Syed owns Chicago-based BSI, and Pakistan-based Business System International Pvt. LTD. The companies provided high-performance computing platforms, servers, and software application solutions.

Syed of Northbrook, and Business System International have been charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and foreign trade regulations, and one count of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

According to the charge filed in the U.S. District Court in Chicago, from 2006 to 2015, Syed and BSI USA conspired with company employees in Pakistan to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act by exporting computer equipment from the United States to the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission without obtaining the required authorization from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Syed told computer manufacturers that the shipments were intended for universities in Pakistan or his second business, also located in Pakistan, according to a federal indictment.

In reality, Syed knew the shipments were going to the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, the government agency responsible for developing nuclear weapons, the indictment states.

According to the indictment, shipments also went to the Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences, located in Islamabad, Pakistan, which trained the energy commission’s engineers and scientists.
Syed and his company submitted shipping documents to the U.S. government which listed phony end-users for the computer equipment, the indictment states.

 

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