Last Updated: April 18, 2023, 00:19 IST
Earlier, the FBI raided the offices of America Changle Association which allegedly housed a ‘overseas police outpost’ on its third floor, from where it harassed dissidents, Chinese citizens (Image: Google Maps/Peter Keppeler)
A complaint was unsealed on Monday in federal court in Brooklyn, charging two defendants in connection with operating an illegal overseas police station
Busting “transnational repression schemes targeting members of the Chinese diaspora community, US authorities arrested two men Monday for setting up a Chinese “police station” in New York and charged 40 Chinese public security officials for a campaign to monitor and harass US-based dissidents.
A complaint was unsealed on Monday in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, charging two defendants in connection with opening and operating an illegal overseas police station, located in lower Manhattan, New York, for a provincial branch of the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
“Harry” Lu Jianwang, 61, of the Bronx, and Chen Jinping, 59, of Manhattan, were arrested earlier this morning at their homes in New York City and are charged with conspiring to act as agents of the PRC government.
The defendants worked together to establish the first overseas police station in the United States on behalf of the Fuzhou branch of the MPS. The police station – which closed in the fall of 2022 after those operating it became aware of the FBI’s investigation – occupied a floor in an office building in Manhattan’s Chinatown.
“The PRC, through its repressive security apparatus, established a secret physical presence in New York City to monitor and intimidate dissidents and those critical of its government,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “The PRC’s actions go far beyond the bounds of acceptable nation-state conduct. We will resolutely defend the freedoms of all those living in our country from the threat of authoritarian repression.”
Besides this, two criminal complaints filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York were also unsealed Monday in federal court in Brooklyn charging 44 defendants with various crimes related to efforts by the national police of the PRC to harass Chinese nationals residing in the New York metropolitan area and elsewhere in the United States.
The defendants, including 40 MPS officers and two officials in the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), allegedly perpetrated transnational repression schemes targeting U.S. residents whose political views and actions are disfavored by the PRC government, such as advocating for democracy in the PRC.
In the two schemes, the defendants created and used fake social media accounts to harass and intimidate PRC dissidents residing abroad and sought to suppress the dissidents’ free speech on the platform of a U.S. telecommunications company (Company-1). The defendants charged in these schemes are believed to reside in the PRC or elsewhere in Asia and remain at large.
“These cases demonstrate the lengths the PRC government will go to silence and harass U.S. persons who exercise their fundamental rights to speak out against PRC oppression, including by unlawfully exploiting a U.S.-based technology company,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “These actions violate our laws and are an affront to our democratic values and basic human rights.”
“China’s Ministry of Public Security used operatives to target people of Chinese descent who had the courage to speak out against the Chinese Communist Party – in one case by covertly spreading propaganda to undermine confidence in our democratic processes and, in another, by suppressing U.S. video conferencing users’ free speech,” said Acting Assistant Director Kurt Ronnow of the FBI Counterintelligence Division.
“We aren’t going to tolerate CCP repression – its efforts to threaten, harass, and intimidate people – here in the United States. The FBI will continue to confront the Chinese government’s efforts to violate our laws and repress the rights and freedoms of people in our country.”
Read all the Latest News here