An international plot to provide China with highly classified U.S. military technology has been foiled, said United States federal agents, according to a report.
In an AP report Wednesday, they noted that two Taiwanese nationals had asked undercover agents for military hardware and technology, including a drone, so they could sell it to clients in China. It pointed out that the two were already accused of smuggling methamphetamine into the U.S.
The two accused are Hui Sheng Shen, nicknamed "Charlie," and Huan Ling Chang, also known as "Alice", according to AP.
The report cited federal prosecutors, who said the two were caught on tape referring to clients connected to the Chinese government who were interested in a range of military items that included unmanned aerial vehicles, stealth technology and anti-aircraft systems.
According to a criminal complaint, Shen told the agents he could use techniques learned in the narcotics trade to smuggle the items, such as using scuba divers to carry parts of one of the drones to a ship docked offshore.
The newswire noted that according to federal court records Shen and Chang were arrested in late February and initially charged with narcotics smuggling, and have been in custody since.
The news follows a report earlier this month from the U.S. State and Defense Departments, which accused China of stealing American military and civilian space technology in bid to diminish the country's technological edge in developing weapons and communications.
China has also been accused of directing espionage efforts toward them. In March, it was identified by the U.S. as being behind the cyberattacks against security vendor RSA in 2011, in which hackers conducted a spear-phishing campaign that sent e-mails containing malware.