New York police officer arrested on suspicion of spying on China

New York police officer arrested on suspicion of spying on China

Federal prosecutors said Monday that a 33-year-old New York City police officer and Chinese-born ethnic Tibetan had been arrested on espionage charges. Presumably, he worked for the PRC government.

Baymadaji Angwang, a naturalized US citizen and patrol officer of the 111th precinct in Queens, has allegedly been involved in espionage activities since May 2018.

Angwang, who currently lives in Williston Park, Nassau County, came to the United States for the first time on a cultural exchange visa. According to the documents, after the second visa expired, the man applied for asylum in the United States, claiming that he had been persecuted and tortured in China, including because of his Tibetan origin.

Throughout his 5-year service, Angwang was part of his crime prevention team and won at least one Police Benevolent Association award. At the time of his arrest, he was assigned to the Department of Community Affairs.

«We have reason to believe that the suspect broke his oath, in which he promised to serve the residents of New York and defend the Constitution by informing Chinese government officials about the activities of Chinese citizens in the city and obtaining information about the US Tibetan community,» said the executor duties of the US attorney Seth Ducharme.

According to recordings of Angwang's conversations, one of his «curators» in the United States was an employee of the China Association for the Preservation and Development of Tibetan Culture, which was tasked with «neutralizing sources of potential opposition to the policies and power of the People's Republic of China.» These sources include members of a group called the Tibetan Independence Movement, which formed after the annexation of the territory by China. Members of the movement note that they were immediately suspicious of the man because of his persistent attempts to learn as much as possible about the organization.

In addition, Angwang allegedly informed the contact of known Tibetan Americans in government positions who could pose a particular danger to the Chinese authorities, informed about the work of the NYPD, and also kept abreast of his attempts to recruit Tibetans living in the city.

Angwang was charged with acting as an agent of a foreign government without prior notice to the attorney general, fraud, concealing his connections abroad, lying to seek asylum and obstructing formal proceedings.

Tibet was annexed by the People's Republic of China in 1951. Since then, the Dalai Lama said more than 1.2 million Tibetans have died in the repression. The Chinese authorities continue to deny the numbers, as well as accusations of suppression of Tibetan national identity.