Police have charged four people and two Canadian companies over their alleged roles in exporting controlled goods and technologies to China that could enhance that country's satellite cameras.

RCMP allege the four were involved in creating and selling microelectronics, specifically a sensor, to two Chinese companies–one of them state-owned.

They allege the goods and technologies were being shipped from Canada to China in violation of the Canadian Controlled Goods Program and other export laws.

Police allege two Canadians–who worked at Waterloo, Ont.-based Teledyne DALSA–stole technology from their employer and set up a company with a former employee in order to get a contract to make the sensor.

"Teledyne DALSA is a global leader in high performance digital imaging and semiconductor technology, headquartered in Waterloo, ON, Canada," the company's website states.

Warrants issued

Investigators say the fourth accused works with one of the Chinese companies allegedly involved. RCMP say Teledyne co-operated fully with the investigation.

The RCMP have charged Arthur Xin Pang, of Pierrefonds, Que., and his company Global Precision Inc., Bianqiao Li, of Waterloo, Ont., Nick Tasker of the United Kingdom and his Montreal-based company, 3D Microelectronics Inc., and Hugh Ciao, of California, with numerous offences related to the alleged incident.

Police said Pang and Li were to appear for a bail hearing in a Waterloo court on Monday, while warrants have been issued for Tasker and Ciao.

Controlled goods

Canada has a controlled goods program designed to prevent proliferation of weapons, satellite communication equipment, military equipment and intellectual property. 

"Canada has an international responsibility to safeguard its exports which potentially may be used against Canadians and their allies," said RCMP Supt. Jamie Jagoe.

"This investigation is an example of foreign governments having an interest in Canadian-based controlled technology and it highlights the RCMP's commitment to keeping Canadian's safe from the potential misuse of that technology."

With files from CBC News