A former pilot for the U.S. military has been arrested in Australia for his alleged work in China and faces extradition. 

According to an exclusive report published by Reuters, 54-year-old Daniel Edmund Duggan was arrested on October 21 in Orange, a rural town in the Australian state of New South Wales. 

An aviation source discloses that Duggan caught the FBI’s attention over his work in China. The source did not detail exactly what he had done that would concern Washington. 

Duggan served as a combat instructor in the U.S. Marines for a decade before moving to Australia. There, he established Top Gun Tasmania, which provided joyride tours and flight training. He later sold the company and migrated to China in 2014.

Three pilots also revealed that Duggan participated in Australian air shows with ex-military aircraft.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Duggan began working as the managing director at China’s Qingdao -based firm AVIBIZ Limited in 2017. It is said to be an aviation consultancy company “with a focus on the fast growing and dynamic Chinese Aviation Industry.” The firm was dissolved in 2020.

Hong Kong company records seen by Reuters show that Australian passport holder Daniel Edmund Duggan registered AVIBIZ Limited there in 2017. 

Duggan appeared in court in New South Wales on the same day of his arrest. He was sent away from the Bathurst jail after being denied bail. He will return to court in Sydney next month to discuss any bail requests.

The U.S. government will have 60 days to submit an extradition request following the extradition agreement with Australia. Australian citizens may be extradited under the treaty.

The arrest comes amid mounting worries about military personnel providing services to foreign adversaries. Last week, Britain announced that former military pilots could face prosecution on national security grounds if they work in China. Australia is also investigating former fighter pilots for the same reason.

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