The DOJ announced on Monday that “Harry” Lu Jianwang of the Bronx and Chen Jinping of Manhattan were arrested in connection with an illegal “police” station in lower Manhattan. RedState reported on these secret outposts in October. They are ostensibly there to monitor Chinese nationals living abroad. During that time, there was only one station in the U.S.; three in Toronto and others in London. At least 54 stations were located in 30 countries.
According to the New York Post six other such stations were exposed in the U.S.
According to Safeguard Defenders, in addition to the Chinese Police Station above a noodle shop in Manhattan’s Chinatown there is also a station in New York City at an address that has not been disclosed, and an outpost in Los Angeles.
The nonprofit organization has also found “overseas services stations” in San Francisco, Houston and cities in Nebraska and Minnesota.
These Chinese Communist Party-run law enforcement agencies are responsible for spying on Chinese citizens around the globe.
Safeguard Defenders describes itself as:
A human rights NGO that was founded in late 2016, that supports and undertakes local field activities to protect basic rights, promote rule of law, and improve the abilities of civil society in Asia and human rights activists.
How did this group discover these secret police stations?
Safeguard Defenders spokeswoman told The Post on Tuesday that “we found at least four service centers overseas Chinese in the US, set up by UFWD networks who are responsible for the station’s staffing.”
UFWD stands for United Front Work Department. It is a Chinese government agency which controls ethnic and religious affairs overseas.
Safeguard Defenders reports show that police stations, whose agents allegedly snoop on dissidents, often hide behind community groups and nonprofits.
The DOJ released a press statement on Monday in conjunction with Lu and Chen’s arrest. It provided details about the case.
Matthew G. Olsen, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, said: “The PRC has established a secret physical existence in New York City through its repressive system to monitor and intimidate those who are critical of its government and dissidents.” “The PRC is acting in a way that goes beyond what can be considered acceptable for a nation-state.” We will defend all the people in our country against the threat of authoritarian oppression.
This prosecution exposes the Chinese government’s flagrant violations of our nation’s sovereignty by setting up a secret policestation in the middle New York City, said U.S. attorney Breon Peace of the Eastern District New York. As alleged, defendants and co-conspirators had been tasked to do the PRC’s bidding including helping locate a Chinese Dissident in the United States. They obstructed the investigation by deleting communications. This type of police station is not welcome in New York City or anywhere else in the United States.
What role did Lu Chen and Lu play?
Lu’s relationship with the PRC police, the MPS, was long-standing before he helped open the station in 2022. Lu has been tasked to carry out various tasks since 2015 through the operation the secret police station. This included assisting the PRC government in its repressive actions on U.S. territory:
Lu took part in Washington, D.C. counterprotests during the visit of PRC President Xi Jinping to the United States in 2015. Lu participated in counterprotests against those who practice a forbidden religion under PRC law. Lu was awarded a plaque by a deputy director of MPS for his work on behalf of PRC government.
Lu was recruited in 2018 to help a purported PRCfugitive return to the PRC. The victim said that she was repeatedly harassed by others to return to PRC. This included threats made against her and her family both in the United States as well as in PRC.
The MPS official asked Lu for help in 2022 to locate a prodemocracy activist living in California. Lu, in turn, enlisted another coconspirator’s help. Lu later denied having these conversations when confronted with the FBI.
The FBI searched the illegal police station in October 2022. This search was authorized by a court. In the course of this search, FBI agents questioned Lu and Chen as well as seizing their phones. FBI agents viewed the contents of the phones and found that the communications between Lu, Chen and the MPS official appeared to be deleted. Lu and Chen, in consensual interview with the FBI, admitted that they deleted communications between them and the MPS Official, after learning of the FBI investigation. This prevented the FBI from knowing the full extent to which the MPS had directed the overseas police station.
As noted by The Post, New York City mayor Eric Adams was also the guest of honour at the annual gala for the America ChangLe Association NY Inc. (the non-profit that owns the building where the police station is located), though Adams didn’t disclose his participation in September 2022 on his official schedule.
Do the DOJ also investigate these other outposts? It sounds like they should be.