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Who is Baimadajie Angwang? NYPD officer ‘arrested for spying for China’?

A NEW York City police officer has been arrested for allegedly working as a spy for the Chinese government.

Baimadajie Angwang, 33, was hit with a slew of charges on Monday after he was taken into custody by the FBI. 

Below is more information about the person accused of being an “intelligence asset.”

Who is Baimadajie Angwang?

Angwang is a naturalized US citizen from Tibet; naturalization means he became a US citizen after meeting immigration requirements established by Congress.

Before becoming a citizen, Angwang sought asylum by claiming he had been arrested and tortured in China partly because of his Tibetan ethnicity, according to officials. 

He has worked as an officer with the New York Police Department as a community affairs officer in the 111th precinct in the borough of Queens.

Angwang was also a staff sergeant in the US Army Reserve who was given security clearance by the Pentagon, according to court papers.

Prior to joining the Reserve, Angwang served in the Marines for five years.

What do federal prosecutors say he did?

According to the government, Angwang has been working as an “intelligence asset” for the Chinese government.

He allegedly agreed to spy on US supporters of the Tibetan independence movement. 

Who is Baimadajie Angwang?

Baimadajie Angwang, 33, is a naturalized US citizen who sought asylum by claiming he had been arrested and tortured in China.

He worked for the New York Police Department as a community affairs officer in the 111 precinct in the borough of Queens.

Angwang was also a staff sergeant in the US Army Reserve who was given security clearance by the Pentagon, according to court papers.

According to federal prosecutors, Angwang has been working as a spy for the Chinese government.

A criminal complaint filed in Brooklyn federal court alleges he secretly worked for unnamed handlers from the Chinese consulate in New York.

William Sweeney, head of the FBI’s New York office, said it appears Angwang did not compromise national security or the NYPD.

Sweeney said that Angwang, however, is still “the definition of an insider threat.”

What was Angwang’s job as a 'spy'?

Prosecutors have claimed Angwang’s job working as an “intelligence asset” for China was to “locate potential intelligence sources” and “identify potential threats to the PRC in the New York metropolitan area.”

Angwang was also allegedly expected to give consulate officials “access to senior NYPD officials through invitations to official NYPD events.”

What else have prosecutors said?

According to court papers, prosecutors’ evidence includes communications between Angwang and a consulate official — someone who Angwang called “big brother” and “boss.”

They are said to have spoken about how to figure out who the dissenters are in the independence movement.

“They don’t believe in Tibetan Buddhism,” Angwang told the handler, according to the papers.

“When the consulate extends a helping hand to them, they will feel the warmth of the motherland. How wonderful would that be?”

Angwang reportedly suggested that issuing 10-year visas to Tibetans in the US would help recruit other spies.

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C Demers said in a statement: “State and local officials should be aware that they are not immune to the threat of Chinese espionage.

“According to the allegations, the Chinese government recruited and directed a U.S. citizen and member of our nation’s largest law enforcement department to further its intelligence gathering and repression of Chinese abroad.”

What other charges does Angwang face?

The 33-year-old has also been charged with committing wire fraud, making false statements, and obstructing an official proceeding, according to the Justice Department.

"None of these activities falls within the scope of Angwang's official duties and responsibilities with either the NYPD or the USAR," the criminal complaint unsealed on Monday stated.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said in response to Angwang's charges: "As alleged in this federal complaint, Baimadajie Angwang violated every oath he took in this country.

"One to the United States, another to the U.S. Army, and a third to this Police Department.

"From the earliest stages of this investigation, the NYPD's Intelligence and Internal Affairs bureaus worked closely with the FBI's Counterintelligence Division to make sure this individual would be brought to justice."

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