Chinese intelligence officers face US charges for obstructing prosecution of major telecommunications company

Two suspected Chinese intelligence officers were charged in New York on Monday after the FBI used a double agent to document their apparent attempts to interfere in US prosecutions against a major telecommunications company.

The Justice Department charged He Guochun and Wang Zheng with obstruction of justice, and He with money laundering, after they allegedly paid an American informant they believed to have recruited $61,000 (approximately 50.48,700 rupees) of Bitcoin to provide internal documents related to the case against the company.

The indictment did not name the company, calling it a China-based global telecommunications company.

The details of the case are similar to those of Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant accused in 2019 of theft of trade secrets, evading sanctions and other charges.

The indictment stated that He and Wang believed they recruited someone from a US law enforcement agency and asked that person to obtain confidential witness information, trial evidence and evidence. possible new charges against the telecommunications company.

He and Wang believed they recruited their source in 2017, but the person “later began working as a double agent for the US government” and worked under the supervision of the FBI, according to the indictment.

Beginning in January 2019, the month the charges were first announced against Huawei, the two Chinese agents repeatedly asked the informant for inside information “in an effort to interfere with the prosecution”, said he declared.

The United States added new charges in February 2020, and as the case built, in 2021 the two officers escalated their internal document requests from the prosecution team.

The FBI fabricated fake documents with “secret” classifications to pass on to agents. For one document, he paid the person $41,000 (about Rs 33.93,400) worth of Bitcoin last year.

The agents said that the information they obtained was passed on to the telecommunications company and that it was aware of the spy operation.

The cooperation continued until 2022, with He paying the informant an additional $20,000 (about 16.55 400 rupees) in bitcoins earlier this month, according to the Ministry of Justice.

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