Briton gets 47 years in missile plot

A British businessman convicted of trying to smuggle shoulder-launched missiles into the US has been sentenced to 47 years in prison.

    The plot involved shooting down commercial airline jets

    The alleged plot involved the sale of missiles to a group that Hemant Lakhani, 70, thought would use them to shoot down commercial airliners. The weapons' buyer and seller were actually government agents.

    Lakhani was convicted in April of attempting to provide material support to terrorists, unlawful brokering of foreign defence articles and attempting to import merchandise into the US by means of false statements, plus two counts of money laundering.

    Federal prosecutors were seeking the maximum on each count, for a total of 67 years. US District Judge Katharine Hayden rejected pleas for leniency from Lakhani and his wife, referring to what she called his "reprehensible conduct".

    Lakhani's trial defence hinged on the argument that he was the victim of government entrapment.

    He was arrested in August 2003 at a hotel near Newark Liberty International Airport where he had been meeting with a government informant posing as a representative of a Somali-based armed group.

    The government asserted that Lakhani planned to arrange the sale of at least 50 more missiles after the sale of the first one.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.