The FBI has detained two Americans on suspicion that they assisted the Chinese government in running an unauthorized police station in lower Manhattan.
The two are accused of planning to work as government of China spies. According to the FBI, the Bronx’s “Harry” Lu Jianwang, 61, and Manhattan’s Chen Jinping, 59, were reportedly detained at their homes in New York City on Monday morning.
“The defendants worked together to establish the first overseas police station in the United States on behalf of the Fuzhou branch of the (Ministry of Public Security),” according to a statement from the FBI.
Two other complaints were made in addition to the one from New York; one was against 34 employees of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau, and the other was against a group of ten people that included eight representatives of the Chinese government.
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The three accusations have one thing in common: the suspects are accused of working to intimidate, harass, and threaten “wanted” Chinese individuals inside the US.
As part of a global network of such outposts, the FBI claimed in November last year that it was aware that China was running a de facto police station in Manhattan, outside the bounds of appropriate procedure or authorization.
It came when a nongovernmental organization called Safeguard Defenders investigated in September 2022 and found dozens of such centers operating as police stations worldwide.
Chinese officials disputed that assertion, claiming that the “service centers” were run entirely by volunteers and had no connection to law enforcement.
The centers, however, were clearly identified as enforcement institutions by Chinese state media, acting in foreign nations without working with local authorities, the New York Times reported in January. The FBI reportedly searched the East Broadway building in the fall of 2022, according to The Times.
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