Two indicted for sale of nigh-vision camera to China

Philip Cheng, 57, of Cupertino and Martin Shih, 61, of San Jose were indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury in San Jose on charges that they illegally exported a thermal-imaging, infrared camera called Panther I that could be used for military purposes without the approval of the U.S. State Department to China. Shih, the owner of Night Vision Technology of Cupertino, oversaw the manufacture of materials that were exported to China in 2001 and 2002, authorities said. Cheng, who operated a San Jose company called SPCTEK, brokered the exports, according to court documents.

Shih's company designs and makes military-application devices that use infrared technology to enhance night vision. Cheng established a separate technology-transfer company with the intention of producing the camera in China. Shih was arrested May 21 and released three days later on $340,000 bond. He is to appear before U.S. District Judge Patricia Trumbull in San Jose on Wednesday. Cheng was arrested last month but was released without bail. (Source: Henry K. Lee, San Francisco Chronicle, June 3, 2004)

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