Thursday, July 29, 2021

Nine Chinese nationals in America charged as being illegal agents of People’s Republic, part of bigger plot

Tip of the iceberg of course.  Presume two thousand incoming each year as a scope estimation.

Coud be much more but then quality drops of.  Plenty of students were given loyalty interviews befor they left China.  some of those would still pay off.

However the best and brightest were poor prospects and the ranks are inevitably filled with cadres kids.  These are typically not so smart. 

Nine Chinese nationals in America charged as being illegal agents of People’s Republic, part of bigger plot


BROOKLYN, NY- A federal jury in Brooklyn, NY has indicted nine people charging them with acting as illegal agents of the People’s Republic of China.
The nine are accused of conspiring to stalk and harass a couple living in the United States and coercing them to return to China where they were subject to criminal charges.

Two of the defendants have also been charged with obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice as part of the campaign called “Operation Fox Hunt.”

In that effort federal authorities said, a Chinese prosecutor and a police officer allegedly traveled to the United States to direct the operation targeting the Chinese ex-patriates, now American citizens.

Authorities said Tu Lan, 50 along with Zhai Yongqiang, 46 were recently indicted while seven other defendants had been previously charged.

The others named in the indictment include Hu Ji, 46; Li Minjun, 65; Zhu Feng, 34, a Chinese resident who was living in Queens; Michael McMahon, 53 of Mahwah, NJ; Zheng Congying, 24 of Brooklyn; and Zhu Young (alias Jason Zhu), 64, of Norwich, CT.

The ninth defendant has had his/her name sealed as part of the indictment, according to acting U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis, quoted in a news released.

According to federal prosecutors, Lan was employed as a prosecutor with the Hanyang People’s Procuratorate, directed the harassment campaign and ordered one of the co-conspirators to destroy evidence and obstruct the investigation.

Not all of the suspects were taken into custody, with Lan, Ji, Minjun, Yongqiang and Feng all remaining at large. The release said the other defendants will be charged in the Eastern District of New York at a later time, the release read.

Between the years 2012 and 2014, the indictment read, the Chinese government caused the International Criminal Police Organization to issue so-called “red notices” for the couple, identified in the indictment as John Doe No. 1 and Jane Doe No. 1, his wife. In the red notices, the John Doe No. 1 was wanted by the Communist Chinese government for embezzlement, abuse of power and accepting bribes.

Under Chinese law, to nobody’s surprise the crimes carry a maximum sentence of death. The charge of accepting bribes carried with it a maximum sentence of life in prison, according to the indictment.

The indictment says that nine defendants participated in the campaign, designed to harass, threaten and intimidate the couple to return to China as part of Operation Fox Hunt.

That operation, run by the Chinese Ministry of Public Security seeks to locate Chinese fugitives who had fled to foreign countries.

Chinese government officials deliberately sidestepped U.S. authorities by traveling to the U.S. and directing non-official operatives to carry out the program, a violation of U.S. law, prosecutors said.

Furthermore, between 2016 and 2019, Lan and Ji, a Chinese police officer with the Wuhan Public Security Bureau, traveled to the United States and instructed the Chinese operatives to harass and threaten the couple to return to China.

Kasulis said that such activity by foreign government officials cannot include secret surveillance of U.S. residents and will not be tolerated.

To make matters worse, the suspects also transported the father of John Doe No. 1 to the U.S from China to tell him their family would be harmed in China if he didn’t return to that country. Lan returned to China and continued to direct the co-conspirators to harass the couple in the U.S.

“Today’s announcement serves to highlight the efforts of the FBI and its law enforcement partners to tirelessly and aggressively continue to utilize all available investigative tools and methods at their disposal to combat any illegal intrusions by the Chinese government to unilaterally undermine our economy and our free markets,” said FBI Special Agent-in-Charge George Crouch of the FBI’s Newark Field Office.

“The FBI remains committed to holding actors from the People’s Republic of China accountable when they direct criminal activity on U.S. soil. Further, the FBI will vigorously defend the American ideals of freedom and the rule of law against any foreign malign influence actors.”

Meanwhile, a Department of Justice charging document said a federal grand jury in San Diego, California returned an indictment in May in which four nationals and residents of the People’s Republic of China were charged with attempting to hack into the computer systems of dozens of victim companies, universities and government entities in the United States and abroad between 2011 and 2018.

The indictment alleges that a majority of the conspiracy’s theft focused on information that was of “significant economic benefit to China’s companies and commercial sectors.” The indictment said that theft allowed “the circumvention of lengthy and resource-intensive research and development processes.

The conspirators tried to hide the Chinese government’s role in the thefts by establishing a front company known as Hainan Xiandun Technology Development Co., Ltd., which has since been disbanded.

The two-count indictment alleges that Ding Ziaoyang, Cheng Qingmin, and Zhu Yunmin were Hainan State Security Department (HSSD) officers responsible for coordinating, facilitating, and managing computer hackers and linguists at Hainan Xiandun and other MSS front companies to conduct hacking for the benefit of China and its state-owned and sponsored instrumentalities.

The fourth suspect, Wu Shurong was a computer hacker who created malware, hacked into computer systems operated by foreign governments, companies and universities, and supervised other Hainan Xiandun operatives.

The hacking victims included victims in the United States, Austria, Cambodia, Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, Norway, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Switzerland and the UK.

Industries targeted included aviation, defense, education, government, health care biopharmaceutical, and maritime, among many others.

The stolen trade secrets and confidential business information included sensitive technologies used for submersibles and autonomous vehicles, specialty chemical formulas, commercial aircraft servicing and others. The hacking was utilized to support Communist China’s forays to secure contracts for state-owned enterprises within the targeted country, such as high-speed rail.

The plot used staff and professors at various universities in Hainan and elsewhere in China to further the conspiracy’s goals.

“These criminal charges once again highlight that China continues to use cyber-enabled attacks to steal what other countries make, in flagrant disregard of its bilateral and multilateral commitments,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco.

“The breadth and duration of China’s hacking campaigns, including these efforts targeting a dozen countries across sectors ranging from healthcare and biomedical research to aviation and defense, remind us that no country or industry is safe. Today’s international condemnation shows that the world wants fair rules, where countries invest in innovation, not theft.”

“The FBI, alongside our federal and international partners, remains committed to imposing risk and consequences on these malicious cyber actors here in the U.S. and abroad,” said Deputy Director Paul M. Abbate of the FBI.

“We will not allow the Chinese government to continue to use these tactics to obtain unfair economic advantage for its companies and commercial sectors through criminal intrusion and theft. With these types of actions, the Chinese government continues to undercut its own claims of being a trusted and effective partner in the international community.”

The investigation was a joint operation between the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California, the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Controls Section, and the FBI’s San Diego Field Office.

The FBI’s Cyber Division, Cyber Assistant Legal Attaches and Legal Attaches in countries around the world provided essential support. Numerous victims cooperated and provided valuable assistance in the investigation.

For a flashback on a story we did a while back about a Harvard professor who was involved in some nefarious dealings in of all places, Wuhan. For more on that, we invite you to:

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