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[Update: Official Statement from ED] Eagle Dynamics Developer Jailed for Buying F-16 Manuals

F 16 Fighting Falcon

Update 14-May-2019 @ 17:00z

Eagle Dynamics has issued a statement via their forums. The statement confirmed that Tishchenko is indeed an employee of Eagle Dynamics and that he has been jailed in the State of Utah. The charges are as we reported.

What is clear from Eagle Dynamics statement is that they confirm they were NOT involved and this was the action of an employee who acted on his own free will for his own interests.

Furthermore, it was confirmed that Eagle Dynamics launched a full investigation into the named employee and they have confirmed that no resources of Eagle Dynamics were used to obtain the documents, nor was any of it stored in their company systems. Furthermore, Eagle Dynamics stated that “the employee was not involved in any of the work or research pertaining to the development of the Company’s upcoming F-16 module.”

Development of the F-16 within the DCS world will not be impacted and will continue to provide the community an “enhanced experience”.

Here is the full statement from their forums from Matt Wagner:

The Eagle Dynamics group, headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, confirms that one of its employees has been jailed in the State of Utah (USA) on charges of seeking to procure, export and sell restricted US fighter jet manuals, in particular the F-16.

Eagle Dynamics confirms that it was not involved in any way in the actions of its employee who acted in a purely private context and for his own personal interests.

The Company develops all of its DCS aircraft game modules exclusively on the basis of publicly available information and has never used nor tried to obtain any classified information.

The Company launched an internal investigation into the actions of its employee, and found nothing in the company’s records that relates to the facts that are being held against him. The investigation confirmed in particular that no company resources were used and that no export restricted documents were obtained or stored within the company’s systems. Furthermore, the Company confirms that the employee was not involved in any of the work or research pertaining to the development of the Company’s upcoming F-16 module.

The development of the F-16 and other modules currently in the pipeline will continue in order to further enhance the simulation experience of DCS World. These events will not affect Eagle Dynamics’ commitment to its users and faithful community. 

== Original Article 14-May-2019 @ 12:40z ==

An alleged employee of Eagle Dynamics has been arrested for buying F-16 manuals to help with the development of the aircraft within combat flight sim DCS. According to the the Standard-Examiner,  developer Oleg Mikhaylovich Tishchenko has been charged with “conspiring against the United States, smuggling and violating the Arms Export Control Act”.

The Russian national claimed to be an employee of Eagle Dynamics and had been actively purchasing manuals for USAF fighter jets through eBay. However, as he was a Russian national, the law prevented him from buying the documentation directly due to international restrictions. To combat that, Tishchenko had enlisted the help of people within the US to buy the manuals and then ship them directly to him in Russia.

The person who assisted him lived in Texas and agreed to help. In October 2011, the man sent the manuals to Tishchenko. Jokingly, the Texas man said “If I get busted can you send me a hacksaw?”. However, Tishchenko assured him that there would be no issue as the manuals were “obsolete”. It is said that the manuals contained “concise and clear instructions” for operating and maintaining F-16s.

According to the report, an investigation was launched by Homeland Security and the US Air Force. Initially, he was charged back in 2016, however, was only arrested when Tishchenko had travelled to Georgia. For those who don’t know, Georgia has an extradition agreement with the United States.

Agents on the investigation learned that between January 2012 and September 2015, Tishchenko then auctioned off the F-16 manuals to buyers across the world including Cyprus, Japan, Australia, Germany, Taiwan and the Netherlands.

In 2016, an undercover agent then posed as a buyer and contacted Tishchenko. During these chats, it became clear that Tishchenko was still acquiring new manuals. In particular, those related to the A-10, the F-16C, F-35 and F-22. He told the agent “could guarantee that these manuals will not be provided to any third party, and I think even not shown to anyone in our company.”

Eagle Dynamics has released a very brief statement on their forums suggesting that “nothing has changed” with their plans. They will issue a formal statement after they have discussed everything with their legal counsel. The full statement is below.

Given the seriousness of this situation that Eagle Dynamics got pulled into, we will later issue a formal statement after discussion with legal counsel. Until then, nothing has changed with our future plans, and there is nothing more to say on this matter until we release an official statement.

It has not been confirmed whether Oleg Mikhaylovich Tishchenko is or was an employee of Eagle Dynamics. When we contacted Eagle Dynamics for a response, we were told that the official response will be posted later today.

The man from Texas was originally charged, but had them dropped last week.

Source: Standard-Examiner

For EU visitors: Kotaku / Flusinews

Image Source: The National Interest

Statement from Eagle Dynamics: ED Forums

Tags : ArrestedF-16manuals
Calum Martin

The author Calum Martin

I have been an avid fan of Flight Sim since the release of ‘2000 and have developed my love for aviation ever since. I have the knowledge and experience to really deliver an excellent aviation community. Although no real life flying experience, I have a good understanding and always learning more and more.
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