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Feds: Man tried to ship thermal imaging camera to Pakistan

A southwest suburban man is accused of illegally trying to ship a thermal imaging camera to Pakistan, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.

Bilal Ahmed, 33, of Bolingbrook was charged with violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, and attempted smuggling of goods in violation of U.S. export regulations, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Ahmed was owner and president of Trexim Corp., which used the address of a virtual office in Schaumburg, according to federal prosecutors. Between November 2013 and February 2014, he allegedly emailed with a California company and negotiated the purchase of a FLIR HRC-U camera for about $210,000.

On March 7, Ahmed took the camera to a shipper in Elk Grove Village and left it to be shipped to a company in Pakistan, the indictment alleges. The package included a handwritten note containing the letters “NLR,” meaning “no license required.”

However, Ahmed never applied for, nor obtained a license from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security, which is required to export such a camera to certain countries, including Pakistan, according to the indictment.

Ahmed was arrested March 14 and released on a $100,000 bond, according to the statement.

The charges carry a possible penalty up to 30 years in prison and a $1.25 million fine. An arraignment date has not yet been set.