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South Korean firm charged in US with stealing Kevlar armor secrets

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia -- A South Korean company and five of its employees are accused in an indictment of stealing the recipe from the DuPont Co. to the high-tech fiber used to make Kevlar body armor, prosecutors announced Thursday.

The indictment in U.S. District Court in Richmond alleges that Kolon Industries engaged in a seven-year conspiracy to steal secrets on the manufacturing process for Kevlar and a similar product called Twaron produced by a large Japanese chemical company, Teijin Limited. The alleged corporate espionage attempts against Teijin were unsuccessful, prosecutors said.

Kolon would hire current and former DuPont employees as “consultants” who would provide confidential information about Kevlar, including its polymerization process and details of the manufacturing process, according to the indictment. Kevlar is made at a factory in Richmond, among other locations.

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