On November 5, 2009, a federal court in Brooklyn, NY sentenced Laura Wang-Woodford, a U.S. citizen and a director of Singapore-based Monarch Aviation Pte, Ltd. (Monarch), to 46 months' incarceration for conspiracy to violate the U.S. trade embargo by exporting controlled aircraft components to Iran.
Monarch has been engaged in imports and exports of military and commercial aircraft components for over 20 years.
Wang-Woodford was arrested at San Francisco International Airport in December 2007 after arriving on a flight from Hong Kong and has remained incarcerated ever since. Originally, Wang-Woodford was charged along with her husband Brian D. Woodford in a 20-count indictment returned in the Eastern District of New York on January 15, 2003. A superceding indictment charging Wang-Woodford with operating Jungda International Pte. Ltd (Jungda), a Singapore-based successor to Monarch, was returned on May 22, 2008. Brian Woodford, a U.K. citizen who served as chairman and managing director of Monarch, remains a fugitive.
The 2008 indictment alleged that between January 1998 and December 2007, the defendants exported controlled U.S. aircraft parts from the U.S. to Monarch and Jungda in Singapore and Malaysia and then re-exported those items to buyers in Iran without the required U.S. government licenses. The parts exported included aircraft shields, shears, "o" rings, and switch assemblies. On the export documents filed with the U.S. government, the defendants falsely listed Monarch and Jungda as the ultimate recipients of the parts.
At the time of her arrest, Wang-Woodford had in her possession catalogues from China National Precision Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CPMIEC) containing advertisements for military technology and weaponry, including surface-to-air missile systems and rocket launchers. CPMIEC, a Chinese company, has been sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) based on the company's history of selling military hardware to Iran. Under those sanctions, all U.S. persons and entities are prohibited from engaging in business with CPMIEC.
The Bureau of Industry and Security publish on its website Lists to Check that include sanctions by various government agencies and that should be consulted by persons involved in export or re-export transactions.