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 Post subject: Indonesian general pleads guilty in arms deal case for LTTE
 Post Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 12:46 pm 
Ex-Indonesian general pleads guilty in arms export case

Erick Wotulo, 59, conspired last year to export weapons and other military technology to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, according to the plea agreement. The state-of-the-art firearms, machine guns and ammunition, surface-to-air missiles and night-vision goggles were to be used against Sri Lankan government forces.

@ The jakarta post / 24Feb2007

BALTIMORE (AP): A retired Indonesian Marine Corps general pleaded guilty in U.S. court Friday to money laundering and conspiring to provide material support to the Tamil Tigers, a designated foreign terrorist group.

Erick Wotulo, 59, conspired last year to export weapons and other military technology to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, also known as the Tamil Tigers, operating in Sri Lanka, according to the plea agreement.

The state-of-the-art firearms, machine guns and ammunition, surface-to-air missiles and night-vision goggles were to be used against Sri Lankan government forces.

The conspirators contacted an undercover business in Maryland about the sale of military weapons. Erick helped acquire and arrange the proposed delivery to the Tamil Tigers, the plea agreement said.

Erick was arrested in September in Guam, where he had traveled to meet other conspirators and undercover agents posing as arms merchants.

Erick faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison for conspiracy to provide material support and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for money laundering at his sentencing, scheduled for May 25.



Six Defendants Charged In Conspiracies to Export Arms, Provide Material Support to Foreign Terrorist Organization
Officials say Tamil Tigers were to receive weapons

Four of the defendants were acting at the direction of senior Tamil Tigers leadership in Sri Lanka, U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein of the District of Maryland announced today. A complaint was filed charging Thirunavukarasu Varatharasa, 36, a citizen of Sri Lanka, with being a member of the alleged conspiracy to export of arms and munitions. "The Tamil Tigers relies upon brokers and supporters throughout the world to acquire military weaponry and launder money in its attempt to violently overthrow the elected government of Sri Lanka," said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. "They have waged a civil war in Sri Lanka which has cost tens of thousands of lives and often use suicide bombers. We will not allow any such terrorist organization and its middlemen to use the United States as a source of supply for weapons, technology and financial resources."


National Desk
Contact: Vickie E. Leduc of the Department of Justice, 410-209- 4800
U.S. Newswire September 29, 2006


BALTIMORE, Sept. 29 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Two complaints and an indictment were unsealed today charging six defendants with conspiracy to export arms and munitions and three of those defendants with the additional crimes of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and money laundering. The defendants were arrested in Guam after traveling there to attempt to purchase night vision devices, sniper rifles, submachine guns with suppressors and grenade launchers to be used by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (Tamil Tigers) or customers in Indonesia. Four of the defendants were acting at the direction of senior Tamil Tigers leadership in Sri Lanka, U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein of the District of Maryland announced today.

The three-count indictment returned on Sept.19, charges Haniffa Bin Osman, 55, of the Republic of Singapore and Erick Wotulo, 60 and Haji Subandi, 69, of the Republic of Indonesia, with conspiracy to export arms and munitions, conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and money laundering. A complaint was also filed in the U.S. territory of Guam charging Thirunavukarasu Varatharasa, 36, a citizen of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, with being a member of the alleged conspiracy to export of arms and munitions (Varatharasa complaint).

"The Tamil Tigers relies upon brokers and supporters throughout the world to acquire military weaponry and launder money in its attempt to violently overthrow the elected government of Sri Lanka," said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. "They have waged a civil war in Sri Lanka which has cost tens of thousands of lives and often use suicide bombers. We will not allow any such terrorist organization and its middlemen to use the United States as a source of supply for weapons, technology and financial resources."

"In today's world, keeping sophisticated U.S. weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists has never been more important," said Assistant Secretary Julie L. Myers of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). "As this case demonstrates, ICE has no tolerance for international arms brokers looking to equip terrorist organizations with Stinger missiles and other advanced American weaponry. Arming a radical organization with more than 200 suicide bombings to its credit jeopardizes the security of the United States and nations around the globe."

Conspiracy to Export Arms and Provide Material Support to the Tamil Tiger Terrorists

The indictment and Varatharasa complaint allege that beginning in April 2006, the defendants conspired to export state-of-the- art firearms, machine guns and ammunition, surface to air missiles, night vision goggles and other items to the Tamil Tigers. The defendants acted as brokers between manufacturers of military technology and the Tamil Tigers, requesting price quotes and negotiating the purchases.

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Founded in 1976, the Tamil Tigers has advocated the violent overthrow of the Sri Lankan government, employing acts of violence, including suicide bombings, against both civilian and military targets.

Approximately 200 such attacks have been attributed to the Tamil Tigers to date. The Tamil Tigers relies heavily upon supporters throughout the world to raise and launder money, acquire intelligence and purchase military use technology. The U.S. Department of State designated the Tamil Tigers as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997. As such, the Tamil Tigers cannot legally raise money or procure operational equipment in the United States.

According to the indictment, from March 2004 to April 2006, Subandi made numerous requests on behalf of Tamil Tigers representatives for price quotations and technical specifications of military items, including night vision goggles, special forces weaponry and equipment, communication devices, spare parts for helicopters and military aircraft, sonar technology and unmanned aerial vehicles. On May 3, Subandi sent undercover ICE agents a list of 53 military weapons, including sniper rifles, machine guns and grenade launchers, that he wished to acquire for the Tamil Tigers. A couple days later, Subandi advised undercover agents that the Tamil Tigers requested immediate pricing for numerous military equipment and that a high ranking Tamil Tigers representative requested that Subandi and an undercover agent travel to Malaysia to further discuss the arms purchases and arrange payment. On May 6, Subandi identified Osman and Wotulo as Tamil Tigers representatives who were willing to travel to a U.S. territory to meet with undercover agents. Subandi told undercover agents on May 18 that Tamil Tigers representatives in Malaysia sent Osman to Sri Lanka to report the details of the ongoing negotiations to superiors of the Tamil Tigers. On May 24, Subandi reported that Osman requested delivery of sniper rifles, submachine guns with suppressors and grenade launchers in international waters 200 km from Sri Lanka.

The indictment alleges that on May 26, Wotulo identified himself to undercover agents as a retired Indonesian Marine Corps General and discussed the proposed arms purchases. In June, Wotulo advised that he and his associates were preparing a purchase order and that the chief of the Tamil Tigers requested that he and Osman travel to Baltimore to meet with undercover agents. Wotulo submitted a purchase order for nine Munitions List items totaling approximately $3 million, including sniper rifles, submachine guns with suppressors and grenade launchers.

According to the indictment, on June 16, Osman advised undercover agents that he intended to meet Wotulo in Jakarta, Indonesia, to finalize arrangements for a meeting with undercover agents and to make an initial payment for the weaponry. The next day Subandi advised that the Tamil Tigers had accepted price quotes provided by undercover agents. During an initial meeting in Baltimore with undercover agents on July 26, Osman stated that the weapons were for the Tamil Tigers.

The next day, Osman discussed the illegality of the arms transfer to the Tamil Tigers, provided navigational coordinates for a delivery in the Indian Ocean and asked about serial numbers on the weapons in the event they fell into the hands of the Sri Lankan Army. Osman stated that if the first transfer of weapons was successful, the second order could be worth as much as $15 million. Osman also inquired about pricing for unmanned aerial vehicles.

The Varatharasa complaint alleges that Osman test-fired several of the weapons in Maryland on July 28. Osman advised that Varatharasa would inspect the weaponry before it would be accepted by the Tamil Tigers.

The indictment and Varatharasa complaint also allege that on Aug. 2 an international wire transfer of $250,000 from a bank in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was credited to an account maintained by an undercover business in Maryland as a down payment for the weapons purchase invoiced by undercover agents at approximately $900,000. According to Osman, the money was wired from a business controlled by a member of the Tamil Tigers. On Aug. 5, Osman provided undercover agents with passports in the names of Osman and Varatharasa in preparation for their travel to the Northern Mariana Islands and/or Guam to accept delivery of the weapons.

In August 2006, Osman allegedly requested photos and technical specifications for surface to air missiles to be used against the Sri Lankan Air Force.

According to the Varatharasa complaint, Osman and Varatharasa met with undercover agents in Guam on Sept. 25, and discussed the weapons, as well as how the weapons would be shipped from Guam and then off-loaded by Tamil Tigers members at a destination in the Indian Ocean. The next day they inspected the machine guns, sniper rifles and ammunition.

They agreed to take steps to have additional funds of $450,000 transferred to an undercover bank account as further payment for the weapons.

Conspiracy to Export Arms to Indonesia

According to the complaint filed against Reinhard Rusli, 34 and Helmi Soedirdja, 33, both citizens of Indonesia and Subandi, the defendants conspired to ship night vision goggles to customers in Indonesia. The defendants acted as brokers, making inquiries to an undercover business in the United States on behalf of individuals and/or entities in Indonesia to acquire military equipment. In August Subandi ordered a monocular night vision device and holographic weapons sight from the undercover business for $2,950. This purchase was intended as a sample for a larger order in the future for the same or similar devices.

Subandi sent a wire transfer of $2,950 on Aug. 31, from an Indonesian bank to a bank in the United States.

According to the complaint, Subandi stated that an individual named "Reinhard" had contacts within the Indonesian military and would help in the transaction. On Sept. 22, Subandi met with undercover agents in Guam and discussed delivery of the night vision devices. Subandi described Rusli and Soedirdja as his financial partners who were providing the funds for the current transaction as well as future deals. The defendants met with the undercover agents the next day and discussed the delivery. They asked to examine the devices and other night vision equipment. The defendants acknowledged that the proposed transaction was illegal and discussed the safest method to smuggle the devices through the Guam airport. The defendants took possession of the night vision devices on Sept. 24, agreeing to wire transfer additional funds. Each of the defendants faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the conspiracy to export arms. Subandi, Osman and Wotulo also face a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the conspiracy to provide material support and 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine for money laundering. The defendants had their initial appearances today in Guam and will be transferred to federal custody in Maryland.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.


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