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US Navy Officer Charged With Attempt To Smuggle Military-style Boats To China

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A U.S. Navy Officer, his wife and two Chinese nationals were charged with conspiracy to smuggle military-style inflatable boats and Evinrude military outboard motor engines to China.

The four defendants charged in the indictment are Lt. Fan Yang, 34; his wife Yang Yang, 33; Ge Songtao, 49; and Zheng Yan, 27. They have been charged with "conspiring to submit false export information and to fraudulently attempt to export articles from the United States," the Department of Justice announced.

If convicted on both counts, the charged defendants each face a maximum penalty of fifteen years in prison.

Yang Yang, Ge Songtao, and Zheng Yan have been accused of attempting to export seven vessels and eight engines to China.

Fan Yang is a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, who is working as a tactical coordinator assigned to Patrol Squadron (VP) 5 at the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Weapons School.

Yang, who holds a top secret clearance, was stationed at Naval Air Station Jacksonville at the time of his arrest, U.S. media reported quoting court documents.

Yang and his wife are naturalized citizens of the United States who immigrated from China, and residing in Jacksonville, Florida.

Prosecutors alleged that the couple were paid $205,000 to export the strategically important equipment from the United States to China since September last year.

All four defendants were arrested on October 17.

This case was investigated by the FBI, the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and several federal Departments.

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