US accuses Chinese citizens of stealing information, punishing critics and recruiting spies

Washington — The Justice Department unsealed charges in three separate cases on Monday, accusing more than a dozen defendants, most of them Chinese officials, of participating in plans to bring back critics of the Chinese government, a Chinese telecommuter. The Americans at the firm are accused of obtaining secret information about the investigation and recruiting detectives. To act as an agent of Chinese rule in America

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the charges along with FBI Director Chris Wray and top Justice Department officials. Ten of the 13 persons charged in the cases are Chinese officials, Ray said.

“As these cases demonstrate, the Chinese government sought to interfere with the rights and freedoms of individuals in the United States and undermine our judicial system that protects those rights. They did not succeed,” Garland said. .

“Beijing may think that following the rule of law is a weakness, but they are wrong,” Ray said. “Our democratic and legal processes equip us with weapons that China does not have.”

In one case, two Chinese intelligence officers were charged with attempting to obstruct a criminal investigation into a Chinese telecommunications company, alleging that the pair had worked with a double agent who gave them instructions from the FBI. Information was given. The two defendants, Guochun He and Zheng Wang, remain at large. Guochun has also been charged with money laundering based on a bribe paid to a double agent.

The plan, which reportedly began in 2019, involved he and Wang, who instructed a US law enforcement officer to steal confidential information about a criminal case against the global telecommunications company, which involved a US attorney in Brooklyn. Office files were also included. In return, the double agent received a bribe of $61,000 in bitcoin.

The affidavit filed in support of the allegations does not name the company but makes reference to a press release issued by the Justice Department in February 2020. The department disclosed the allegations against Chinese company Huawei, one of the world’s largest network suppliers. Devices used by phone and Internet companies in the same month. The telecom giant and its subsidiaries were accused of orchestrating a decades-long plan by the Justice Department to steal trade secrets from US tech companies.

US Attorney General Garland announced the results of campaigns against China's alleged attempts to steal US technology at the Justice Department in Washington
Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the charges against Chinese citizens to the Justice Department on October 24, 2022.

Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

Charging documents on Monday detail the relationship he and Wang allegedly cultivated with an unidentified law enforcement officer in February 2017, during which the agent, acting under the direction of the FBI, learned about a Justice Department case. in “alleged sensitive information”. telecommunications company.

The two repeatedly sought information about the Chinese firm beginning in January 2019, when charges against the company were first announced, “in an attempt to interfere with prosecution and ongoing investigations,” federal prosecutors allege.

The indictment cited messages and phone calls between two Chinese citizens and a US government employee, including a February 4, 2019 phone call during which Wang shared non-public information about the US government’s investigation into the company. “Expressed interest” in receiving.

In August 2021, the double agent wrote to him asking for instructions on what information he wanted to collect from US law enforcement. He, the Chinese intelligence official, reportedly replied that he wanted information about the telecommunications company “and all ancillary about trade negotiations, attitude, analysis, possible measures, targets, proposals,” approval for China enterprises. It’s also good to add specific cases of.”

Then, in the fall of 2021, the double agent falsely told He and Wang that officials were meeting with a team of prosecutors preparing for a trial against Huawei. In one exchange, according to court documents, he asked a US government employee whether federal prosecutors would “put forward a petition” and whether there was a witness list to share.

The indictment also cites a conversation between the double agent and Chinese officials in October 2021, during which the agent sent a page from federal prosecutors to an alleged internal strategy memo that was classified as “secret.” The memorandum discussed plans to indict and arrest two Huawei employees living in China. One of the defendants, he replied that the document was “exactly what I was waiting for,” according to court filings, and then paid the undercover operative about $41,000 in bitcoin to steal the memo.

The agent also asked He and Wang for feedback about the document marked “SECRET” and they said the Chinese telecommunications company “has not yet given me specific feedback, but they are clearly interested in it.” and my boss and they need advance information.” He also told the double agent that the company, which is believed to be Huawei, “will be clearly interested” in an undercover operative stealing another part of the strategy memo.

The communication between the double agent and he lasted until October 20, 2022, during which the individuals discussed the reward for the work.

In another case, prosecutors in New Jersey charged four individuals, including three Chinese intelligence officers, of failing to recruit a former federal law enforcement officer and state homeland security officer to act as agents for China in the US. Were trying to.

Unsealed charge documents on Monday allege that from 2008 to at least 2018, Wang Lin and three co-defendants had committed an act to identify, target and direct individuals in the US to act on China’s behalf. Used affiliation with a Chinese educational institution, including an attempt to create pressure. person to prevent a planned protest against China and other allegedly “secret” activities in the US.

The third case announced by Garland involved seven men allegedly acting on behalf of the Chinese government who were accused of engaging in a multi-year campaign to force a US resident to return to China. Two of the seven accused were arrested last week, though the remaining five are absconding.

“The PRC has a history of targeting political dissidents and critics of the government, who have sought relief and asylum in other countries,” Garland said, referring to the People’s Republic of China.

The attorney general said the campaign included harassment, intimidation, surveillance and intimidation aimed at forcing the person to return to China. Those involved also allegedly tortured the family members of the victim.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button