FBI Arrests 2 Men Accused of Running Secret Chinese Police Station

By Steve Neavling

The FBI on Tuesday arrested two men accused of operating an unauthorized police station in New York City on behalf of the Chinese government and destroying evidence of their communications with the Ministry of Public Security in China. 

“Harry” Lu Jianwang, 61, of the Bronx, and Chen Jinping, 59, of Manhattan, used the police station to crack down on criticism of the Chinese government, the Justice Department alleges. 

They were charged with obstruction of justice and conspiring to act as agents of China. 

Additional charges were filed against 34 Chinese police officers accused of harassing Chinese nationals who lived in New York City. 

“The PRC (People’s Republic of China), through its repressive security apparatus, established a secret physical presence in New York City to monitor and intimidate dissidents and those critical of its government,” Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen, of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, said in a news release. “The PRC’s actions go far beyond the bounds of acceptable nation-state conduct. We will resolutely defend the freedoms of all those living in our country from the threat of authoritarian repression.”

Prosecutors say the police station opened in early 2022. 

In October 2022, the FBI searched the police station and interviewed Lu and Chen and seized their phones. 

FBI agents discovered that the communications between Lu and Chen and Chinese law enforcement were deleted from their phones. The defendants admitted to agents that they had deleted the communications after learning about the FBI investigation, according to prosecutors. 

“This prosecution reveals the Chinese government’s flagrant violation of our nation’s sovereignty by establishing a secret police station in the middle of New York City,” U.S. Attorney Breon Peace for the Eastern District of New York said. “As alleged, the defendants and their co-conspirators were tasked with doing the PRC’s bidding, including helping locate a Chinese dissident living in the United States, and obstructed our investigation by deleting their communications. Such a police station has no place here in New York City – or any American community.”   

The defendants face up to 20 years in prison on the obstruction of justice charge. The conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. 

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