OAN Geraldyn Berry
UPDATED 11:52 AM – Monday, April 17, 2023
Two New Yorkers who were reportedly in charge of an unnamed Chinese government police station in Manhattan’s Chinatown have been detained, according to the FBI and federal prosecutors on Monday.
It was reported that both defendants in the case were arrested at their homes in New York City this morning. The Justice Department had described the arrests as a “significant national security matter.”
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, Lu Jianwang, 61, and Chen Jinping, 59, have been charged with conspiring to act as agents for China’s government by operating an undeclared police station.
The MPS of China, according to Breon Peace, the U.S. Attorney in charge of that office, “has repeatedly and flagrantly violated our nation’s sovereignty, including by opening and operating a police station in the middle of New York City.”
“Two miles from our office just across the Brooklyn Bridge, this nondescript office building in the heart of bustling Chinatown in Lower Manhattan has a dark secret. Until several months ago, an entire floor of this building hosted an undeclared police station of the Chinese National Police,” Peace said. “Now, just imagine the NYPD opening an undeclared secret police station in Beijing. It would be unthinkable.”
According to Peace, the station was at least offering some official services, such as assisting Chinese citizens with renewing their Chinese driver’s licenses. But even then, the statute stipulates that anyone acting in New York City on behalf of a foreign government, such as the defendants, must first notify the attorney general before doing so.
The attorney believes that the secret police station had occasionally been used for more malevolent purposes. According to the prosecution, Jianwang had repeatedly “harassed and threatened” a Chinese fugitive in order to get him or her to return home in 2018.
In 2022, Jianwang had received instructions from a Chinese National Police official to locate a pro-democracy activist with Chinese ancestry who resides in California. Peace claimed that it appears that the station was being used by the Chinese national police to locate a pro-democracy Chinese activist living in California.
“The two defendants whose arrests we’re announcing today destroyed evidence of their communications with the Chinese national police when they learned of the FBI’s investigation,” Peace said. “These two defendants knew they had something to hide, and they obstructed justice in an attempt to prevent the FBI from learning the full extent of what they were up to.”
The Department of Justice revealed two other lawsuits accusing several Chinese people of eavesdropping on U.S. soil, in addition to the case in New York.
One is allegedly against 10 people, including eight representatives of the Chinese government, while the other is allegedly against 34 employees of Beijing’s Municipal Public Security Bureau.
This is a developing story.
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