A Hong Kong man has been arrested and indicted in Dallas, Texas, in connection with an alleged attempt to export US$1.7 million (HK$13.14 million) worth of goods to Libya. A seven-count indictment filed on Monday named John William McKenzie, 63, as a defendant. The indictment listed him as a director of Transport Contracts, a firm registered in Hong Kong and said he attempted to export electronic components and telecommunications equipment. He was arrested on September 8 in Houston and is being held without bail. He faces up to 50 years in prison and fines of up to US$1.75 million. However, it was unclear last night whether the exports would be a crime in Hong Kong. The Foreign Office in London said trade bans in Britain and Hong Kong were limited to aviation and 'certain oil-related equipment' under sanctions approved by the United Nations Security Council in 1992 and 1993. 'It's not a blanket ban by any means,' the spokesman said. McKenzie is charged with one count of conspiracy, three counts of exporting the equipment to Switzerland for shipment to Libya, and three counts of making false statements. Also charged is David Irwin Portnoy, 58, president of DIPCO, a Texas company operating out of his Dallas home, who was arrested a day later and has been granted bail. According to the indictment, the two men conspired to export the restricted goods between September 1989 and July 1991 by first shipping the components and equipment to Canada and then to Switzerland with the intent that it ultimately be shipped to Libya. US attorney Paul Coggins said the indictment revealed that arrangements were made for Transport Contracts to be paid US$1.7 million by the Libyan Government through a Swiss bank account. Swiss authorities, tipped off by the US Customs Service, impounded the shipment and ultimately returned it to America. Heavy weapons shipped from North Korea for Syria last month are believed to be mainly field guns. Customs officers opened all 18 containers of the consignment yesterday. Officers were yesterday trying to assemble parts of a cannon with a barrel measuring about eight metres at the police depot in Fanling. The seizure has aroused concern from South Korea with its consulate in Hong Kong asking for details of the haul. A security source said: 'The consignment is believed to contain mainly the Soviet-built 130-millimetre M-46 field guns.' The containers were impounded last Thursday after two of them were found to be carrying unassembled howitzer guns unlicensed for import. The consignment arrived in Hong Kong on August 22. The cargo was moved from Kwai Chung Container Terminal to the police depot on Saturday for security reasons.