WASHINGTON — A West German national who was indicted in Los Angeles on charges of exporting U.S. high-technology equipment for the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc nations has been apprehended by authorities in Great Britain, the Justice Department said today.
Werner J. Bruchhausen, 42, was taken into custody by British authorities for allegedly trying to enter that country without a valid passport.
John Russell, a spokesman for the Criminal Division, said U.S. authorities sought his provisional arrest and have commenced proceedings to get Bruchhausen extradited to the United States to stand trial on the charges stemming from the 60-count indictment handed down by a federal grand jury in August, 1981.
Bruchhausen was apprehended on Wednesday, said Russell, who would not elaborate on the circumstances of his capture.
Bruchhausen and three others named in the indictment were accused of conspiracy and violations of the Export Administration Act, the Arms Export and Control Act and federal income tax laws. Two of the three--Anatoli Tony Maluta of Redondo Beach and Sabina Dorn Tittel of Rancho Palos Verdes--are in prison. The third--Austrian Dietmar Ulrichshofer--remains at large, Justice officials said.
Bruchhausen never stood trial on the charges, having fled the United States, U.S. authorities say.
Customs Commissioner William von Raab called Bruchhausen "one of the world's top techno-bandits" and said his arrest "is a major break in this country's efforts to track and arrest people wanted for deceiving and defrauding American businesses by selling potential high technology to the Soviets."
The indictment charged that Bruchhausen and the others conspired to export from the United States "various high-technology commodities" to East Germany and elsewhere without first having obtained the necessary export licenses.