According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, two Chinese intelligence officers have been charged with obstruction of justice for bribing a double agent working for the United States government.
According to a statement made on Monday, two PRC police officers named Guochun He and Zheng Wan attempted to enlist the government employee in a “ongoing federal criminal investigation and prosecution of a worldwide telecommunications business.”
However, the statement clarified that the employee in question was acting at the direction of the FBI. This information was obtained from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a press conference on Monday that the case involved a “egregious attempt by PRC intelligence agents to shelter a PRC-based firm from accountability and to undermine the integrity of our legal system.”
The Associated Press claims that Huawei, a producer of mobile phones, is the likely culprit. US Assistant Attorney Alexander Solomon was asked during the news conference if such was the case, but he declined to respond.
“The government of China sought to interfere with the rights and freedoms of individuals in the United States and to undermine our judicial system that protects these rights. They did not succeed,” Garland also said.
Since 2019, he and Wan have assigned the government employee to steal top-secret data pertaining to the case. He forked up roughly $41,000 in bitcoin in 2021 to obtain a file described as “looked to be classed as ‘SECRET,'” according to the statement. In October, he transferred another $20,000 in bitcoin to the government worker.
In addition to the bribery charges, he faces up to 60 years in jail on two counts of money laundering related to the payments, while Wang faces up to 20 years.