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NYPD Officer Charged With Spying on Tibetans for China

An NYPD officer in Central Park, N.Y., 2016. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

A New York City police officer was arrested and charged Monday by federal prosecutors with spying for China, including providing Chinese officials with access to NYPD officials and giving intelligence on Tibetans living in the U.S.

Baimadajie Angwang, 33, a community affairs officer in Queens, acted “at the direction and control” of Chinese government officials at the New York Chinese Consulate and “used his official position in the NYPD” to provide Chinese officials access to senior NYPD officials through invitations to NYPD events, according to the criminal complaint.

An ethnic Tibetan himself, Anwang, who was born in China and became a naturalized U.S. citizen, also used his position on the police force to report on ethnic Tibetans in New York City and assess potential intelligence sources within that community.

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn charged Angwang with acting as a foreign agent without notifying American authorities, wire fraud, making false statements, and obstructing an official proceeding. He is also accused of offering a consulate official information about the NYPD’s internal operations.

Angwang joined the NYPD in 2016 and once received the “Cop of the Month” honor. He is currently suspended from the department.

He served as a Marine in Afghanistan in 2013. Since 2014, he has been a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve at Fort Dix, where he held a national security clearance that gave him access to classified information, prosecutors said.

Since 2018, Angwang was in regular contact with at least two Chinese officials at the New York consulate. He referred to one of the officials more than once as “Boss.”

“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,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers said in a statement.

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