The defendants established the first overseas police station in the United States on behalf of the Fuzhou branch of the MPS. The police station was located on a floor in an office building in Manhattan’s Chinatown and was shut down in the fall of 2022 after the FBI’s investigation, according to the Department of Justice.
“These individuals worked to help the Chinese government surreptitiously open and operate an illegal MPS police station on US soil,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “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.”
Lu had a long-standing relationship with Chinese law enforcement, including the MPS, and was tasked with carrying out various activities to assist the Chinese government’s repressive activities on US soil. These activities included counterprotests against members of a forbidden religion, harassing a Chinese fugitive to return to China, and locating a pro-democracy activist living in California. Lu and Chen obstructed the FBI’s investigation by deleting their communications with the MPS official.
“This case serves as a powerful reminder that the People’s Republic of China will stop at nothing to bend people to their will and silence messages they don’t want anyone to hear,” said Acting Assistant Director Kurt Ronnow of the FBI Counterintelligence Division. “The FBI is dedicated to protecting everyone in the United States against efforts to undermine our democratic freedoms, and we’ll hold any state actors – and those who help them – accountable for breaking our laws.”
If convicted, the defendants face up to 5 years in prison for conspiring to act as agents of the Chinese and up to 20 years in prison for obstructing justice. The FBI New York Field Office investigated the case.
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