Three men charged with ‘spying’ for Hong Kong intelligence service

The Metropolitan Police said the Hong Kong investigation was not related to a separate case that involved Russia

Joe Middleton
Tuesday 14 May 2024 10:57
Chung Biu Yuen (left) and Chi Leung Wai (right) leave Westminster Magistrates’ Court, central London
Chung Biu Yuen (left) and Chi Leung Wai (right) leave Westminster Magistrates’ Court, central London (PA)

Three men have appeared in court accused of assisting the Hong Kong intelligence service and foreign interference.

Chi Leung (Peter) Wai, 38, Matthew Trickett, 37, and Chung Biu Yuen, 63, spoke only to confirm their identities at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

It is alleged that between 20 December 2023 and 2 May 2024, Yuen, Wai and Trickett agreed to undertake information gathering, surveillance and acts of deception that were likely to materially assist a foreign intelligence service.

Chi Leung Wai (PA)

The court also heard that on 1 May 2024 they forced entry into a UK residence.

All wearing grey sweatshirts, Wai, of Staines-upon-Thames, Surrey; Trickett, of Maidenhead, Berkshire; and Yuen, of Hackney, east London, who was also wearing a black jacket, sat side by side in the glass-fronted dock for a brief hearing before they were given bail.

Trickett is employed as a Home Office immigration enforcement officer and was previously a Royal Commando in the marines for six years.

Wai works as a Border Force officer at Heathrow Airport and Yuen is employed as a Hong Kong trade official based in London.

China has reacted with fury to the charges. It’s London embassy told The Telegraph: “We strongly condemn the UK’s unwarranted accusation against the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government.”

Chung Biu Yuen (Reuters)

District Judge Louisa Cieciora said they must abide by conditions including a 10pm to 5am curfew, reporting weekly to their local police station, not travelling internationally and informing police of devices used to access the internet.

They were charged with the offences under the National Security Act following an investigation by the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command that saw a total of 11 people arrested.

Eight men and a woman were arrested by officers on 1 May in the Yorkshire area, before a man was arrested in London and another man was arrested in the Yorkshire area the following day, the force said.

Court sketch of the trio in the dock in Westminster (PA)

All 11 people were detained under Section 27 of the National Security Act.

The seven men and one woman who were not charged were released from custody on or before 10 May.

The Metropolitan Police said the investigation was not related to a separate case involving Russia.

The three men are next due to appear at the Old Bailey on 24 May.

Commander Dominic Murphy, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “A number of arrests were made and searches carried out across England as part of this investigation.

“While led from London, the Counter Terrorism Policing network has been crucial to disrupting this activity and we have worked closely with the Crown Prosecution Service since the start of the investigation.

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