A 33-year-old New York City cop and U.S. Army Reservist named Baimadajie Angwang was arrested Monday on federal charges of acting as a foreign agent for the Peoples Republic of China, according to authorities.
Angwang, a native of the autonomous region of Tibet in China who traveled to the U.S. on a cultural exchange visa, has reportedly communicated the activities of other Tibetans in the greater New York area to Chinese consulate officials in New York.
Authorities have stated that Angwang “eventually sought asylum in the United States on the basis that he had allegedly been arrested and tortured in the [People’s Republic of China] due partly to this Tibetan ethnicity,” after overstaying a second visa.
As early as 2014, Angwang began developing a relationship with an official at the Chinese consulate and would go on to form ties with an additional official he called “Boss” and acted as his handler.
Court documents reveal that Angwang lives in Nassau County, Long Island, and is a Staff Sergeant in the Army Reserve, stationed at Fort Dix, New Jersey as part of the Airborne Civil Affairs Battalion. As a cop, he serves at the 111th precinct in northeastern Queens.
Angwang has strong ties to the Chinese Communist Party
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York is handling Angwang’s case and has sought to prosecute the NYPD cop, saying in a criminal complaint that “while acting at the direction and control of PRC officials, has, among other things … reported on the activities of ethnic Tibetans, and others, in the New York metropolitan area to the Consulate”.
Furthermore, it has been reported that Angwang “used his official position in the NYPD to provide Consulate officials access to senior NYPD officials through invitations to official NYPD events,” raising questions of whether any senior NYPD officials have been compromised by the Chinese government.
Tibet’s ongoing claim for independence from China has been an ongoing battle since 1951, which may explain why Angwang’s background was overlooked. It turns out that Angwang’s immediate family members have deep ties to the CCP – both his mother and father are members of the CCP and have served the Chinese government in one capacity or another. Both his parents and brother, who is a reservist in the People’s Liberation Army, live in China.
In addition to charges of espionage, Angwang is under prosecution for wire fraud, making false statements, as well as obstructing official proceedings.
“As alleged in this federal complaint, Baimadajie Angwang violated every oath he took in this country. One to the United States, another to the U.S. Army, and a third to this Police Department. From the earliest stages of this investigation, the NYPD’s Intelligence and Internal Affairs bureaus worked closely with the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division to make sure this individual would be brought to justice,” said NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea.
On the other hand, FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney, Jr., said,“This case serves as yet another reminder that China represents the biggest counterintelligence threat to the United States and that the FBI and our partners will be aggressive in investigating and stopping such activities within our nation.” ”
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