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Chinese ABS inspector arrested in Korea accused of technology theft

Seoul: A Chinese inspector sent by US ship classification society ABS to a South Korean shipyard has been arrested for allegedly stealing key technology, prosecutors said Wednesday, according to AFP.
The 35-year-old unidentified man was arrested on June 27 and indicted for stealing technology to manufacture oil drilling ships and platforms, said the prosecutors' office in the southern port city of Busan.
"This case shows that China is using all means available to steal advanced technology from our shipbuilding industry," the office said in a statement.
It said the American Bureau of Shipping, at the request of a Chinese state shipping company, sent the man last September to supervise the building of a ship at an undisclosed yard.
He was the first foreigner to be charged in South Korea with technology theft. Two other Chinese inspectors were investigated but not indicted because they acquired technology through the Internet overseas, a Busan prosecution official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
South Korea is sensitive to technology leaks. In July last year prosecutors charged four local shipbuilding engineers with leaking technology to China.
Also last year five former and current employees of Kia Motors were accused of selling secrets on car assembly to China.
In March this year prosecutors arrested a former engineer with South Korea's LG Electronics for stealing and leaking flat-screen TV technology to China. [10/7/08]


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