FBI to Help Singapore Police in Probe of Engineer’s Death

The Federal Bureau of Investigation will assist Singapore police in a probe into the death of an American research engineer in the Asian city.

The Singapore police had asked the family of Shane Todd to share any evidence in their possession related to his death with the local authorities, it said. The police also said the family should hand the evidence to the FBI if it’s not comfortable with Singapore investigators.

“As there has so far been no response to this request, Singapore Police Force has sought the FBI’s assistance to engage the family and for FBI to examine the evidence,” the police said in an e-mailed statement today.

Todd worked at the Institute of Microelectronics, a research unit of the Singapore state-run Agency for Science, Technology and Research. His family had suggested in media reports including in Financial Times that his death may be tied to a project the institute was working on with China’s Huawei Technologies Co.

“The Singaporean authorities have requested FBI assistance regarding the death of Shane Todd,” Eric Watnik, a U.S. embassy spokesman in Singapore, said in an e-mailed statement. “The FBI will comply with the request.”

The probe will continue to be led by Singapore police, whose request is focused on issues within the U.S., Watnik said.

Not Military

“Institute of Microelectronics approached Huawei on one occasion to cooperate with them in the GaN field, but we decided not to accept, and consequently do not have any cooperation with IME related to GaN,” Huawei said in an e-mailed statement today, referring to gallium nitride. Huawei’s research relates only to civil and commercial use of telecommunications technology, and not military, it said.

The Institute of Microelectronics didn’t immediately reply to an e-mail requesting comment on the probe into Todd’s death.

Both the institute and Todd weren’t involved in any classified research project, the institute said on Feb. 19. The institute didn’t go beyond preliminary talks with Huawei on a commercial project and has never worked with the Chinese company on gallium nitride amplifiers, it had said then.

The U.S. embassy had said on Feb. 16 that while the FBI follows the case closely, it must be invited by a foreign government before handling any investigations overseas. The U.S. offered FBI assistance to Singapore on Todd’s probe and has engaged in “frequent discussion” with the city’s government regarding his death, the embassy had said then.

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