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A US businessman has pleaded guilty of exporting products without a licence to atomic and space agencies in Pakistan, violating American federal laws, the media reported on Monday.

Imran Khan, 43, faces up to 20 years in prison, Dawn news reported.

US Attorney Deirdre Daly for the District of Connecticut on Sunday said that Khan, a resident of North Haven, Connecticut, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty on Saturday in a federal court to violating US export law.

Court documents and statements show that from 2012 to December 2016, Khan was engaged in a scheme to purchase goods that were controlled under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and exported them without a licence to Pakistan.

When asked by the US manufacturers about the end-user for a product, Khan either informed them that the product would remain in the US, or he completed an end-user certification indicating that the product would not be exported.

After the products were purchased, they were shipped by the manufacturer to Khan's North Haven residence or to a business owned by him, according to the court documents.

"The products were then shipped to Pakistan on behalf of either the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco) or the National Institute of Lasers and Optronics (Nilop)," the US Justice Department said.

The three organisations are included in the US Department of Commerce Entity List, reports Dawn news.

The Justice Department said that Khan never obtained a licence to export any item to the designated entity even though he knew that a licence was required prior to export.

Khan is scheduled to be sentenced by US District Judge Vanessa Bryant in August.