Apr 18, 2023 Justice Department officials say two men have been arrested on charges that they helped establish a secret police station in New York City on behalf of the Chinese government. Officials separately announced charges against more than three dozen members of China’s national police, accusing them of creating and using fake social media accounts to locate and harass dissidents in the United States.
U.S. arrests 2 for allegedly operating secret Chinese police outpost in New York
By Robert Legare
Updated on: April 17, 2023 / 7:56 PM / CBS News
Washington — The FBI arrested two defendants on charges that they set up and operated an illegal Chinese police station in the middle of New York City in order to influence and intimidate dissidents critical of the Chinese government in the U.S., the Justice Department announced Monday.
“Harry” Lu Jianwang, 61, of the Bronx, and Chen Jinping, 59, of Manhattan are charged with conspiring to act as agents of the Chinese government and obstruction of justice. In a 30-page affidavit accompanying a criminal complaint, an FBI agent alleged that the defendants established a secret police station under the direction of China’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS) in a Manhattan office building.
The Justice Department said the two men helped open the outpost in 2022, and deleted their communications with an MPS official once they became aware of the FBI’s investigation. Both are due to appear in federal court in Brooklyn later on Monday.
“It is simply outrageous that China’s Ministry of Public Security thinks it can get away with establishing a secret, illegal police station on U.S. soil to aid its efforts to export repression and subvert our rule of law,” said Kurt Ronnow, the acting assistant director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division. “This case serves as a powerful reminder that the People’s Republic of China will stop at nothing to bend people to their will and silence messages they don’t want anyone to hear.”
In a separate complaint, nearly three dozen MPS officers were charged with using fake social media accounts to intimidate Chinese dissents in the U.S. and disseminate “official PRC government propaganda and narratives to counter the pro-democracy speech of the Chinese dissidents,” the Justice Department said, referring to the People’s Republic of China.
The 34 defendants, all believed to reside in China, allegedly worked as part of an elite task force known as the “912 Special Project Working Group” to locate and harass Chinese dissidents around the world in an effort to silence criticism of the Chinese government. Others are accused of disrupting online meetings where topics critical of the Chinese government were discussed, according to charging documents unsealed Monday.