A foreign national was indicted yesterday for allegedly illegally importing an unmanned spy plane into the U.S., and then trying to resell it on eBay.
According to a press release from the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement service, Henson Chua of the Philippines was indicted and charged by a grand jury in Tampa with violating the Arms Export Control Act and smuggling. Chua is accused of importing an RQ-11B "Raven" Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) from the Philippines into the U.S., which is listed on the U.S. Munitions List as a defensive item, "without having first obtained from the U.S. Department of State a license or written authorization." He then "aided and abetted the attempted export" of the same UAV.
U.S. arms code prohibits people from buying and selling defense equipment without permission from the government, primarily to prevent people from selling U.S.-manufactured equipment to foreign governments. But Chua managed to reverse the process.
According to the indictments, in May 2010, Homeland Security Investigations agents in Tampa learned from the Department of Defense that a "Raven" had been listed on eBay, for a price of $13,000. The listing also had nine pictures, which showed the bar code and ID number of that particular "Raven," through which the DOD determined which one it was, and that it was the property of the U.S. government.
Yep. Dude tried to sell an unmanned Pentagon drone. On Ebay.