They are suspected of having delivered industrial secrets to China and Russia. Two French and two Chinese were indicted in Paris on March 24, a judicial source said on Thursday, confirming information from the Parisian. Ommic, the French semi-conductor flagship for the telecommunications industry and the space sector, has according to The Parisian was gradually taken over by Ruoadan Z., a 63-year-old Chinese, who became president in 2018 after buying 94% of the shares via an investment fund created in France.
Marc R., the general manager, as well as a Chinese executive of the company, were indicted for delivering to a foreign power processes, documents or files likely to harm the fundamental interests of the nation, a crime punishable fifteen years of criminal detention and a fine of 225,000 euros.
Sending prohibited material to Russia
According to the daily, justice suspects Marc R. of having “implemented numerous circumvention schemes to knowingly deliver powerful chips and information on sensitive technologies to China and Russia”, in particular the control of nitride of gallium, a material that allows a multiplied power of semiconductors.
A complex arrangement would have “also been put in place to transfer prohibited equipment to Moscow and circumvent the commercial embargo which has targeted the country since the invasion of Crimea, via China”, according to the daily. Initially placed in pre-trial detention, Marc R. was released under judicial supervision by the Paris Court of Appeal, according to the judicial source.
Suspicions during a customs check
The other three people implicated are also under judicial control, from the same source. Five other people were arrested by the DGSI in March, according to The Parisian, which the various sources interviewed by AFP did not confirm. The newspaper affirms that the first suspicions appeared during a customs control, at the beginning of 2021, which gave rise to the opening of a preliminary investigation by the Pnat in November 2022, entrusted to the DGSI (internal intelligence) and the Central Office for the Suppression of Serious Financial Crime (OCRGDF).
Significant criminal seizures have been made, according to the judicial source. According The Parisian, shares of the company were notably seized, allowing a tricolor resumption of its control. The company was then sold to the American Macom. The judicial investigation, opened at the request of the Pnat, also relates to suspicions of illegal exports in contraband, criminal association, forgery and use of forgery, abuse of corporate assets, according to the judicial source .