FBI arrests New York residents for running secret Chinese police station in NYC’s Chinatown

by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News April 17, 2023

Two New York residents have been arrested for allegedly running a secret police station on behalf of the communist government in China in Manhattan’s Chinatown neighborhood, the FBI and federal prosecutors announced on Monday.

Lu Jianwang and Chen Jinping have each been charged with conspiring to act as agents of China’s government, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

The watchdog group Safeguard Defenders says a Chinese police “service station” occupied space above a noodle shop [to the right of the Fairfield Inn & Suites] on East Broadway in New York City. / Google Street View
U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said China’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS) “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. Until several months ago, an entire floor of this building hosted an undeclared police station of the Chinese National Police,” Peace said. “Now, just imagine the NYPD opening an undeclared secret police station in Beijing. It would be unthinkable.”

Michael Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office, said “Not only was the police station set up on the order of MPS officials, but members of the Chinese consulate in New York even paid a visit to it after it opened.”

Related: Report: FBI raided suspected Chinese police outpost in New York City, January 12, 2023

Peace said the secret Chinese police station in Lower Manhattan was “providing some government services, like helping Chinese citizens renew their Chinese driver’s licenses. But to do even that, the law requires that individuals like the defendants who act as agents of a foreign government give prior notice to the attorney general before setting up shop in New York City. That didn’t happen.”

“More troubling, though,” Peace said, “is the fact that the secret police station appears to have had a more sinister use on at least one occasion. An official with the Chinese National Police directed one of the defendants — a U.S. 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 have been using the station to track a U.S. resident on U.S. soil.”

The two defendants arrested on Monday “destroyed evidence of their communications with the Chinese national police when they learned of the FBI’s investigation,” Peace said. “These two defendants knew they had something to hide, and they obstructed justice in an attempt to prevent the FBI from learning the full extent of what they were up to.”

Peace said his office and the FBI’s New York Field Office are the “first law enforcement partners in the world to make arrests in connection with the Chinese government’s overseas police stations.”

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