The two Chinese nationals’ setup the ‘secret police station’ on behalf of the Fuzhou branch of China’s Ministry of Public Security.
61 year old Lu Jianwang of the Bronx, and Chen Jinping, 59 of Manhattan have been accused of conspiracy to act as agents of the Chinese government and obstruction of justice, offenses that each carry a maximum sentence of 25 years imprisonment.
Assistant attorney general Matthew Olsen said the people’s republic of China had established an illegal presence in New York city in order to “monitor and intimidate dissidents.” The FBI said the station, which was located in a Chinatown office building, had been operating since 2018. Obstruction of justice charges are based on claims that both these men deleted conversations with officials from their phones after the October 2022 raid by the FBI.
In addition, 44 Chinese nationals were charged with “repression schemes” targeting Americans online. The FBI is accusing them of using the internet to threaten and harass “Chinese dissidents located throughout the world,” including in the US.
It’s believed they formed a ‘troll farm’ dubbed the “912 special project working group” and illegally transferred means of identification. All these individuals currently reside outside the us and remain at large.