A court-unsealed indictment on Friday revealed that former U.S. Marine pilot Daniel Duggan is facing charges of breaking U.S. arms control laws by training Chinese military pilots to land on aircraft carriers.
Daniel Duggan was arrested in a rural area of New South Wales, Australia, in October after a U.S. request.
Reuters reported that the indictment alleged “Duggan provided military training to PRC [People’s Republic of China] pilots” via a flight school in South Africa on three occasions in 2010 and 2012.
The U.S. District of Columbia court unsealed the indictment and a warrant for the former pilot on Friday.
According to the indictment, a Chinese national allegedly approached Duggan and asked him to provide military advice for a Chinese state-owned firm. His tasks allegedly included Chinese military pilot trainee evaluations, testing naval aviation equipment, and providing tactics for aircraft carrier landings.
The U.S. State Department notified Duggan in 2008 that authorization was required to provide training to a foreign air force. However, Duggan did not ask permission from the American government to provide military training to China.
He frequently traveled between Australia, China, the U.S., and South Africa between 2009 and 2012.
Along with Duggan, the indictment lists one South African and one Britain involved in the case. These individuals were the executives of “a test flying academy based in South Africa with a presence in the People’s Republic of China.”
Duggan is detained in Sydney, Australia, and his case will be in court this week.
According to a bilateral agreement, the United States must submit an extradition request for Duggan by December 20.
The UK government issued a rare warning regarding China’s hiring of former British military pilots the same week as Duggan’s arrest on October 21.
The former pilot also used the same registered address as that of a Chinese hacker Su Bin. The U.S. had sentenced Su Bin to 46 months in prison in 2016 for attempting to hack Boeing’s computer system and extract data about military projects.