On Monday, the Justice Department announced charges involving China’s Ministry of Public Security, the Associated Press reported.
Justice Department officials announced that charges have been brought against 34 officers from the Ministry of Public Security for using social media to harass Chinese dissidents in the US.
Additionally, the DOJ has arrested two US citizens from China on charges that they helped set up a secret police station in New York City under the direction of a Chinese Communist Party official.
The 34 officers from the Ministry of Public Security, presumed to be living in China, were charged with setting up thousands of phony social media accounts to harass dissidents living outside of China.
According to the Justice Department, the 34 officers are part of a specialized task force that works out of a police facility in Beijing. This task force also uses social media to spread CCP propaganda on various issues, including the war in Ukraine, human rights in Hong Kong, and Black Lives Matter protests in the United States.
The 34 defendants remain at large.
The arrests of the two men concern a Ministry of Public Security branch that was operating out of an office building in the Chinatown neighborhood of Manhattan which closed down last fall while being investigated by the FBI.
US citizens Harry Lu Jianwang and Chen Jinping were acting at the direction of a Chinese government official when they helped to set up the local police station in Chinatown. The two men deleted their communications with the official from their phones when they learned about the FBI probe, the Justice Department said.
While the Manhattan secret police station did perform basic services like helping Chinese nationals renew their Chinese driver’s licenses, DOJ officials said the true purpose was more “sinister.”
According to the Justice Department, the secret police stations primarily operated to help the Chinese government track down pro-democracy activists living in California.
Michael Driscoll, the special agent in charge of the New York FBI field office told reporters on Monday that the Chinese secret police operation is a “blatant violation of our national sovereignty.”