A former U.S. army pilot and flight teacher who ran an aviation consultancy in China is in custody in Australia awaiting an extradition request from his homeland on an undisclosed cost, officers stated Wednesday.
Daniel Edmund Duggan, who says he’s a former U.S. Marine Corps main, was refused bail when he appeared final Friday in Orange Native Court docket within the New South Wales state rural city of Orange northwest of Sydney, court docket information present.
Australian Federal Police arrested him that day “pursuant to a request from the USA,” a police assertion stated.
“Because the matter is earlier than the courts, it will not be acceptable to remark additional,” police and the Lawyer-Basic’s Division stated in identically worded statements.
Protection Minister Richard Marles instructed his division final week to research whether or not any former Australian army personnel had been recruited to work for the Chinese language air power.
His transfer adopted a report that as much as 30 former British army pilots had been employed to coach members of China’s Individuals’s Liberation Military.
“I might be deeply shocked and disturbed to listen to that there have been personnel who had been being lured by a paycheck from a overseas state above serving their very own nation,” Marles stated in a press release.
Britain’s Protection Ministry stated it was taking “decisive steps” to forestall Chinese language makes an attempt to recruit serving and former British pilots.
Chinese language Ministry of Overseas Affairs spokesperson Wang Wenbin was requested at his common information briefing in Beijing on Tuesday to touch upon a report of Duggan’s arrest amid investigations of pilots being employed to coach China’s army.
Wang replied, “I’m not conscious of the scenario you talked about.”
Duggan is scheduled to subsequent seem in court docket in Sydney on Nov. 4, when he can apply for bail.
He’s being held in custody underneath Part 15 of the Extradition Act that forestalls a decide from releasing him on bail except there are “particular circumstances,” court docket paperwork present.
The cost that Duggan is to face stays sealed.
The U.S. Justice Division, which has 60 days from Duggan’s arrest to request his extradition, declined to remark in a press release.
The U.S. Embassy within the Australian capital, Canberra, additionally declined to remark.
Duggan stated in his LinkedIn profile that since 2017 he had been common supervisor of AVIBIZ Restricted, “a complete consultancy firm with a concentrate on the quick rising and dynamic Chinese language Aviation Business.” AVIBIZ relies in Qingdao, a metropolis in jap Shandong province.
Duggan stated he spent 13 years within the U.S. Marine Corps till 2002. He grew to become an AV-8B Harrier fighter pilot and an teacher pilot throughout his service.
He lived in Australia from 2005 and 2014, founding and turning into chief pilot of High Gun Tasmania, a enterprise primarily based in Tasmania state that supplied pleasure flights in a BAC Jet Provost, a British army jet coach, and a Chinese language army propellor-driven coach, a CJ-6A Nanchang.
“These two planes are used to coach air power pilots in fight and army maneuvers, and the High Gun group ensures that individuals expertise the magnificent capabilities of those flying machines,” the enterprise’s web site stated.
He moved to Beijing in 2014. It isn’t clear whether or not he continues to reside in China or what he was doing in Orange when he was arrested.
Duggan’s lawyer, Dennis Miralis, didn’t reply to requests for remark.
The US has had an extradition treaty with Australia since 1976.