Indictment unsealed against conspirators in alleged export scheme to Pakistan

By Jon Campisi | Apr 8, 2014

An indictment returned by a grand jury earlier this year charging three

individuals and two corporations with smuggling technology out of the country for use by the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission has been unsealed in Harrisburg.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced the March 31 unsealing of the indictment against Shafqat Rana, formerly of Lancaster, Pa., and Lahore, Pakistan residents Abdul Qadeer Rana and Shahzad Rana.

The three stand accused of using two corporations, Pennsylvania-based Optima Plus International and Pakistan-based Afro Asian International, to export goods from the United States to Pakistan.

The goods were said to have been shipped through a common carrier in Dauphin County, Pa.

The grand jury indictment charges that the defendants shipped and exported the goods from America to restricted end-users in Pakistan while providing false and fraudulent invoices to the freight forwarders, thereby causing the forwarders to fail to file the required export declarations.

The indictment says that Shafqat Rana, the former Lancaster resident, took orders for “dual use” items, or items with both a commercial and military or nuclear application, from Afro Asian and acquired the items in the U.S.

After the items were shipped overseas, they were resold to the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission in violation of U.S. law.

The commission is an arm of the Pakistani Army.

The defendants in the case also allegedly created false and misleading invoices given to freight forwarders that undervalued and mislabeled the goods and listed false purchasers and end-users of the goods, according to the prosecutor’s office in Harrisburg.

Shafqat Rana has apparently since left the United States and returned to Pakistan.

Court records show that the indictment was unsealed late last month after it was determined that none of the defendants were still in the United States.

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