New York police officer was an illegal agent of China tasked with spying on Tibetan nationals, U.S. charges
A police officer in New York City who was also a U.S. Army reservist has been charged with acting as an illegal agent of China, federal prosecutors said Monday.
The U.S. Department of Justice said Baimadajie Angwang, 33, was arrested earlier Monday at his home on Long Island and was due in court in Brooklyn that same day.
He faces 55 years in prison.
"This is the definition of an insider threat – as alleged, Angwang operated on behalf of a foreign government; lied to gain his clearance, and used his position as an NYPD police officer to aid the Chinese government's subversive and illegal attempts to recruit intelligence sources," William Sweeney, assistant director in charge of the FBI's field office in New York, said in a statement.
Prosecutors say Angwang, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in China, has acted as an agent of that country's government since at least 2014. He was also charged with wire fraud and making false statements.
Angwang is accused in court documents of reporting to Chinese consulate officials about the activities of Chinese citizens in the New York City area and assessing potential intelligence sources within the local Tibetan community, court documents charge.
Read more at Reuters: U.S. charges New York City police officer with acting as illegal agent of China
From ABC 7 NY:
In one phone call between Angwang and the consular official, the complaint said Angwang offered "to raise our country's soft power" by having the consular official attend NYPD events. He also allegedly offered to provide the consular official with nonpublic information about the internal workings of the police department.
"Angwang also discussed the utility of developing sources for the PRC government in the local Tibetan community and suggested that the primary qualification for a source as follows: 'If you're willing to recognize the motherland, the motherland is willing to assist you with its resources,'" the complaint said.
Since prior to 2018 and through the present, officials say Angwang has maintained a relationship with at least two People's Republic of China officials stationed at the Consulate. One PRC official is believed to have been assigned to the "China Association for Preservation and Development of Tibetan Culture," a division of the PRC's United Front Work Department ("UFWD"). The department is responsible for, among other things, neutralizing sources of potential opposition to the policies and authority of the PRC.
Recorded conversations have revealed that the PRC officials has been a "handler" of Angwang. He received tasks from them and reported back to PRC officials.