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US charges over 30 officers with China’s National Police Force – Justice Dept

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Washington: The US Justice Department has charged more than 30 officers of China’s National Police Force for allegedly conducting operations against dissidents in the United States, US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Peace said.

“Two complaints charge more than 30 officers with China’s national police force… with engaging in transnational repression schemes targeting members of the Chinese diaspora community in New York City and elsewhere in the United States,” Peace said during a press conference.

Two of the officers were arrested earlier on Monday morning for allegedly setting up a secret station of the Chinese National Police in a nondescript office building in lower Manhattan, Peace said.

The two defendants destroyed evidence of their communications with the Chinese National Police when they learned about the FBI investigation, Peace said.

A second complaint charges 34 officers for being part of a task force allegedly operating as an internet troll farm creating thousands of fake online personas, which they used in a coordinated plot to harass and threaten dissidents and activists throughout the world, including in the United States, Peace said.

The task force also allegedly used their fake online personas to spread disinformation that underscored the weaknesses of US democracy and foreign policy, sought to sow political divisions in US national elections, and convey conspiracy theories regarding the US government’s alleged responsibility for the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, Peace added.

In a separate press release, the Justice Department said a third complaint charges ten individuals, including six MPS officers and two officials with the Cyberspace Administration of China, for their alleged role targeting “dissidents” on a US tech company’s platform. Nine of the defendants are believed to reside in China and remain at-large, and the tenth defendant is believed to reside in Indonesia or China, and also remains at-large.

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