Nine individuals charged for acting as illegal foreign agents of China
- United States
Two of the nine defendants are also charged with obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice.
As alleged, the defendants, acting as agents of China, carried out an illegal and clandestine campaign to harass and threaten targeted US residents in order to force them to return to China, said Acting US Attorney Jacquelyn M Kasulis for the Eastern District of New York.
“Unregistered, roving agents of a foreign power are not permitted to engage in secret surveillance of US residents on American soil, and their illegal conduct will be met with the full force of US law,” he said, adding that these individuals had not registered as a foreign agent.
According to the indictment, nine defendants participated in an international campaign to threaten, harass, surveil and intimidate John Doe and his family, in order to force him to return to China as part of “Operation Fox Hunt,” a Chinese Ministry of Public Security initiative to locate and repatriate alleged Chinese “fugitives” who had fled to foreign countries, including the United States.
Instead of operating with the approval and coordination of the US government, Chinese government officials carrying out Operation Fox Hunt travelled to the United States and directed non-official operatives in the United States to engage in violations of US criminal law, it alleged.
All defendants are charged with acting as and conspiring to act as unregistered agents of China, which carry maximum penalties of ten years and five years in prison respectively.
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