Japan firm raided over suspected missile tech sale to Iran: report
TOKYO (AFP) Dec 12, 2002
Tokyo police and customs authorities raided the offices of a machinery company suspected of illegally exporting to Iran technology capable of producing solid fuel for missiles, reports said Thursday.

Authorities on Thursday raided 11 offices of grinding and measuring equipment manufacturer Seishin Enterprise Co. Ltd. as well as the home of its president on suspicion of violating the foreign trade law, Jiji Press and Kyodo news agencies said.

The firm is suspected of exporting two of its Jet Mill machines, which cost from 20 million to 100 million yen each (160,000 to 800,000 dollars), to an Iranian military goods company and to a rocket science labratory at a university in the country, Japan Broadcasting Corp. said.

Neither police nor customs officials would comment on the case and the company did not respond to phone calls.

Seishin is suspected of shipping the equipment to Iran between May 1999 and November 2000 without a permit from the trade industry.

Exports of the Jet Mill are restricted under the trade law because of its dual-use technology, Kyodo said.

It uses compressed air to grind solid materials, such as medicines or printer toner ink, into fine powder, and can also be used to increase the burn efficiency of solid rocket fuel, the reports said.