A New York City police officer who also serves as a U.S. Army reservist has been charged with acting as an illegal agent of the Chinese government, U.S. federal prosecutors have said.
Baimadajie Angwang, 33, was arrested Monday at his Long Island home and was scheduled to appear in Brooklyn court later today, the US Department of Justice said when the charges were announced.
A criminal complaint filed in federal court in Brooklyn accuses Angwang of working as an agent for the People’s Republic of China (PRC). He says he was secretly supervised by managers from the Chinese consulate in New York.
Angwang’s job was to “locate potential sources of intelligence” and “identify potential threats to the PRC in the New York metropolitan area,” according to court documents. It was also supposed to allow consulate officials “access to senior NYPD officials through invitations to official NYPD events,” they add.
“This is the definition of an internal threat – as alleged, Angwang operated on behalf of a foreign government; lied to get his clearance and used his position as an NYPD cop to aid the Chinese government’s subversive and illegal attempts to recruit intelligence sources. William Sweeney, deputy director in charge of the FBI’s New York field office, said in a statement.
Prosecutors say Angwang, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in China, has acted as an agent of that country’s government since at least 2014. He has also been charged with wire fraud and misrepresentation.
Angwang is accused in court documents of reporting to Chinese consulate officials on the activities of Chinese citizens in the New York City area and of assessing potential sources of intelligence within the local Tibetan community, according to court documents.
According to the criminal complaint, Angwang told his manager in the Chinese government that he wanted to be promoted in the NYPD so that he could help the People’s Republic of China and bring “glory to China.”
The identity of the lawyer representing Angwang was not immediately known.
The United States has long accused China of espionage and of tThe arrest and indictment are the latest in a series of similar charges made by the Justice Department.
Other accused include a former CIA agent and a researcher.