Two New York City residents got arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for allegedly operating a secret Chinese government police station on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), the suspects, Lu Jianwang, 61, and Chen Jinping, 59, are accused of setting up and running a police outpost out of the Chinatown neighborhood of Manhattan, working for the Chinese government’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS).
Two Arrested for Operating Illegal Overseas Police Station of the Chinese Government
Defendants Are New York City Residents Who Allegedly Operated the Police Station in Lower Manhattan and Destroyed Evidence When Confronted by the FBIhttps://t.co/vvLmSJgOmt
— National Security Division, U.S. Dept of Justice (@DOJNatSec) April 17, 2023
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York charged the residents with conspiring to act as agents of the Chinese government. U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said China’s government “has repeatedly and flagrantly violated our nation’s sovereignty, including by opening and operating a police station in the middle of New York City.”
“Two miles from our office, just across the Brooklyn Bridge, this nondescript office building in the heart of bustling Chinatown in Lower Manhattan has a dark secret,” Peace said.
“Until several months ago, an entire floor of this building hosted an undeclared police station of the Chinese National Police. Now, just imagine the NYPD opening an undeclared secret police station in Beijing. It would be unthinkable,” Peace added.
The charges explained that the police station provided several Chinese government services, such as renewing driver’s licenses, but it failed to register with the DOJ as an agent of a foreign government.
“More troubling though is the fact that the secret police station appears to have had a more sinister use,” Peace said.
“On at least one occasion, an official with the Chinese national police directed one of the defendants, a US citizen who worked at the secret police station, to help locate a pro-democracy activist of Chinese descent living in California. In other words, the Chinese national police appear to be using the station to track a US resident on US soil,” he continued.
The two residents were charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly deleting evidence of their communications with the CCP when they learned of the FBI’s investigation.
Peace said his office and the FBI’s New York field office are the first law enforcement partners worldwide to make arrests concerning the Chinese government’s overseas police stations.
Safeguard Defenders, a Spanish civil rights organization, claimed in 2022 that dozens of Chinese police stations exist worldwide, secretly performing acts of surveillance. The alleged stations spread across Europe, Spain, Italy, France, the Netherlands, the U.K., and Canada.