FBI arrests two for allegedly running secret Chinese police station in New York

Officials say the ‘undeclared police station’ in Manhattan’s Chinatown was shut down last year

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Monday 17 April 2023 20:05 BST
Related video: China establishes police centers in New York City and other major cities

The FBI arrested two people for allegedly operating an illegal police station for the Chinese government in New York City.

The two individuals were arrested on Monday and expected to appear in federal court in the city charged with conspiring to act as Chinese agents.

Officials say that the “undeclared police station” in Manhattan‘s Chinatown neighbourhood was shut down last year when a search warrant was executed.

“New York City is home to New York’s finest: the NYPD,” US Attorney Breon Peace, the top federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, said at a news conference announcing the arrests. “We don’t need or want a secret police station in our great city.”

The Justice Department also announced charges against 34 officers of the national police of the People’s Republic of China for harassing Chinese nationals in the US for being critical of the Chinese government.

Those defendants live in China and are still at large, said the Justice Department. Officials say that they were part of the Chinese government’s “912 Special Project Working Group” to influence global perceptions of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

Prosecutors say that the agents used social media to attack “perceived adversaries”, which included pro-democracy activists around the world and to promote the PRC.

The agents, at the alleged direction of the Chinese Ministry of Public Security, ran accounts that looked like they were run by American citizens.

They also posted videos and articles targeting Chinese pro-democracy activists in the US, and even made explicit death threats against them. The agents were also accused of making threats against people to not attend pro-democracy protests in the US.

Chinese officials have claimed that the “service centres”, which the FBI says were part of a global network, were run by volunteers and had nothing to do with policing.

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