Attorney General Merrick Garland revealed charges against 13 defendants, mostly Chinese officials, accusing them of being involved in multiple schemes that included stealing sensitive reports of US investigations into Chinese telecom firms, repatriating critics of the Chinese regime, and recruiting spies to serve as spies of the regime.
Merrick Garland said that the cases reveal that the Chinese government directly sought to hinder individual rights in the US and also to undermine the judiciary that guarantees and protects such rights. They failed in such an attempt, Merrick Garland said.
Merrick Garland And FBI Director Chris Wray Present At The Announcement Of Charges
The Justice Department pronounced the charges along with Chris Wray, the FBI Director, and other senior officials of the department. Ten out of the thirteen charges are Chinese nationals.
The FBI Director said that the Chinese regime wrongly considers the US weak for adhering to American law. He said the US has its legal and democratic processes in place, and it empowers them in a way that the Chinese are not capable of.
In one case, two of the accused Chinese spies were found trying to interfere in the criminal inquiry into a telecommunication company. The charges reveal that the pair contacted an FBI agent who fed wrong information under the agency’s directions.
Zheng Wang and Guochun He, the defendants are yet to be arrested. He also faces charges of money laundering to pay the bribe to the agent.
Their scheme had been in place since 2019. It involved instructing the double agent to steal classified documents about the case against the global telecommunication company that is being investigated. Around $61,000 in Bitcoin was paid as bribes to the FBI agent.
Though the affidavit that supports the charges makes no mention of the telecommunication company, a reference to a release that the Department issued in 2020 in which Huawei is mentioned.
The Chinese company is among the largest manufacturers and suppliers of internet and phone network equipment in the world. The telecom major, along with its subsidiaries, stands accused of running decades-long schemes to steal industry secrets from tech companies in America using its long-running practice of using deception and fraud.