Former US pilot received more than $100,000 to train Chinese aviators, indictment alleges

Former US military pilot Daniel Duggan has been accused of taking over $100,000 to teach Chinese aviators how to take off and land on an aircraft carrier.

According to an unopened indictment filed in the U.S. District of Columbia, Duggan, 54, has been charged by a China-based company responsible for “obtaining military equipment and technical data for the Chinese government and military”. is said to have received payment for

Eight of the 12 payments, $9,900 or $9,500 respectively, were for “personal development training.” A total of $116,250 to $116,400 was paid between January 11, 2011 and July 6, 2012.

Duggan, who renounced his U.S. citizenship in 2012, was arrested in New South Wales, Australia, on October 21 at the request of the FBI. The Australian government has approved a request to extradite him in December 2022.

US officials claimed he, along with eight “co-conspirators”, provided military training to Chinese Air Force pilots at the Test Flight Academy (TFASA) in South Africa. pilot.

chinese aircraft
A Chinese aircraft flies over the 68 nautical mile scenic spot on Pingtan Island, Fujian Province, China, August 5, 2022, one of the closest points from mainland China to the island of Taiwan. (Aly Song/Reuters)

The indictment also alleges that the naturalized Australian man negotiated directly with the Chinese owner of a business named Conspirator F to provide additional services to the state-owned entity.

“These services included evaluation of military pilot trainees, testing of Navy aviation-related equipment, and instruction on tactics, techniques, and procedures related to launching and landing from Navy aircraft carriers. ‘ said the Australian newspaper report Indictment to say so.

“Neither Duggan nor his co-conspirators applied to the U.S. government for a license to provide defense services to foreigners.”

The indictment alleges that TFASA has direct ties to China’s state-owned aviation giant, China Civil Aviation Company, dubbed “Co-Conspirator H,” and entered into a contract with China’s state-owned company to provide “aircraft carrier approach and landing.” claims to be. Training Chinese pilots”.

“Training was to take place in China, South Africa, and locations both known and unknown to the grand jury,” the indictment alleges.

“The training provided by Co-Conspirator H required instructor pilots with naval aviation knowledge and experience meeting NATO standards.

F-35 fighter pilot and crew
F-35 fighter pilots and crew prepare for a mission at Al Dhafra Air Force Base in the United Arab Emirates on August 5, 2019.

One of the accomplices named in the indictment is known to be former TFASA Chief Operating Officer Keith Hartley, who now resides in Adelaide, Australia.

Duggan, also known as Ding San Xing, Din San Qing, DSQ, or Ivan, is currently under U.S. Fraud Conspiracy, Money Laundering Conspiracy, and Arms Export Control Act for conspiring to illegally export defense services to China. and two counts of action for violating the International Arms Trafficking Regulations.

International law experts say the man is subject to US law.

“Duggan was a U.S. citizen until he obtained Australian citizenship in 2012, so his conduct in China and South Africa while he was a U.S. citizen is governed by these U.S. laws.” Australian National University professor of international law told the Guardian news site.

Duggan is currently in custody and is expected to return to court in Sydney on January 10.

Cindy Zhang
Cindy Zhan is a reporter based in Australia. She covers her national news with a focus on China-related issues. Any tips? Please contact [email protected]