A criminal complaint has been opened in the US Federal court, in Brooklyn. Charged were two Chinese intelligence officers for their attempt to disrupt a prosecution in New York’s Eastern District.
The defendants are, however, still at large. The two are identified as Zheng Wang or Zen Wang, and Guochun He or Dong He or Jacky He. Court documents reveal that the two defendants tried to steal official documents from the office of the New York Easter District Attorney.
The documents they were accused of trying to steal are connected to an ongoing criminal investigation and court case. It is against a global telecoms giant – code-named Company 1 – based in China. The officers tried by several means including a Bitcoin bribe attempt worth $61,000 to an employee of the US government.
The defendants reportedly thought the US government employee had been hired to work for the Chinese. But he was rather a double agent in the service of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The charge was announced by the US Attorney in the New York Eastern District, Breon Peace. Other people in the announcement process were Christopher Wray and Matthew G. Olsen. The FBI Director and the National Security Assistant Attorney General, respectively.
The charge read that the complaint brought before the court underscores the continuous effort of the Chinese government to subvert the rule of law. Breon Peace said as the case alleges, it was an effort by Chinese intelligence officials to obstruct a criminal proceeding. Their process included offering bribes to get files from the Attorney’s office.
The obtained files would have been shared with a global telecoms company that is charged in the criminal proceeding. The Attorney said the office will always act swiftly to counter criminal actions targeting the justice system.
In Defense of Justice
The charge stated further that beyond efforts to gather intelligence or information, the actions of the Chinese officials must be called what they are. It is an action by agents of a foreign country to interfere with the justice system of the United States.
They also sought to compromise with an official of the US government. While at the same time, they sought to obstruct US laws for the benefit of a China-based company. The US Department of Justice will not condone other state actors interfering in the US justice system and will not permit foreign interference.
It was also stated that the FBI’s mission is to protect Americans and uphold the country’s constitution. The FBI Director stated that this case represents that there is a threat to both people and the country.
The attempt to steal legal documents by the Chinese agents did not just threaten the US justice system. They threatened the core idea of justice. Any threat to justice also threatens the basis of the American free society.
The defendants are Chinese intelligence agents carrying out foreign operations against the US. They started in 2019 by asking a US law enforcement officer to steal confidential information. They believed the officer had been hired as an asset on the Chinese side.