Taiwanese man pleads guilty to acting as covert Chinese agent

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said that Ko-Suen "Bill" Moo was one of the most significant Chinese arms dealers arrested recently. Among his attempted purchases from undercover agents was the AGM-129 cruise missile, which has stealth technology and can carry nuclear warheads 2,300 miles (3,700 kilometers).

Moo, 58, pleaded guilty to being a covert Chinese agent, conspiracy to broker and export U.S. defense items and attempting to pay a $500,000 (Ђ388,138) bribe to win release from custody. Moo faces up to 30 years in prison and fines of $2 million (Ђ1.55 million) at sentencing, which was not immediately scheduled, the AP reports.

The Chinese government has rejected the claims, contending that it does not purchase weapons illegally.

Moo was a representative for U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin for 10 years in Taiwan and was close to military officials in Taiwan, ICE officials said. His arrest raised concerns in Taiwan, a U.S. ally that China considers its territory, about what information he provided to the Beijing government.

Prosecutors say Moo and Serge Voros, a Frenchman who remains a fugitive, began attempting to acquire military aircraft engines and cruise missiles in early 2004. They first tried to buy 70 Blackhawk helicopter engines for delivery to China, then decided to focus instead on the F-16 engine.

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