US seizing high tech headed for East bloc

In the past three months, the US government seized more than $15 million worth of high-technology and military equipment illegally destined for Soviet-bloc countries, Customs Commissioner William Von Raab said.

The seizures were the result of a new enforcement program known as ''Operation Exodus'' launched by the Customs Department in January to halt the flow of critical items such as lasers, semiconductors, and computer chips to the Eastern bloc.

Calling the program ''tremendously successful,'' Mr. Von Raab said, however, he did not know what fraction of illegal exports the $15 million in confiscated goods represents. ''We have been losing a lot of materials that are important for military or quasi-military purposes,'' he said.

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