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Thursday, February 22, 2024

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Former US Military Pilot Arrested For Training Chinese Military Pilots

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An ex-US Marine detained in Australia last month is said to be a former contractor of a South African flight school, which is being investigated by British authorities for hiring former British military pilots to teach Chinese military pilots.

After the US government requested, Daniel Edmund Duggan, a former US Marine pilot and Australian citizen, has now been arrested in New South Wales. During the same time, Britain started clampdown former military pilots working for intermediaries including TFASA.

The Test Flying Academy of South Africa (TFASA) opened about its previous business relationship with a Chinese businessman, Su Bin. It also said that Bin was jailed in the United States in 2016 for conspiring to hack computers owned by US defense contractors.

According to an aviation source, Su Bin was involved in arranging for Chinese People’s Liberation Army pilots to join TFASA training courses between 2009 and 2013 in South Africa. The school said that it has not contacted Su Bin since 2013.

Duggan’s lawyer said, “There is a warrant out for Duggan’s arrest in the US, but that warrant and the charges he faces are sealed. Duggan, who faces possible extradition to the US, denies breaking any laws there or in Australia.”

While TFASA said, “Mr Duggan contracted for TFASA in South Africa over 10 years ago and the company has not had any contact with him since then.” According to an aviation source, Duggan was training Chinese pilots for TFASA.

It is also said that from Australia Duggan shifted to China in 2014 for taking a job as an aviation consultant there and provided the exact address in China as Su Bin.

The court records say that after confessing his guilt to a high-profile hacking case involving stealing US military aircraft designs by the Chinese military between 2009 and 2014 went, Su Bin was arrested in Canada in July 2014 and was imprisoned in the US two years later. 

TFASA’s marketing materials list Su Bin’s company, Lode Technologies, as one of its partners among the other Chinese companies for which it provides “flight test conduct and consultancy, flight test training and certification.”

The company spokesman said, “Mr. Su Bin ran a small number of TFASA training courses in South Africa about ten years ago, but the company has not had any contact with him since 2013.” 

The British government stated in October that it was preparing to prevent ex-military pilots from training the Chinese armed forces.

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