WASHINGTON, DC, October 24— Two Chinese intelligence agents have been charged with attempting to disrupt the prosecution of a Chinese telecommunications firm, US attorney general Merrick Garland has announced.
While he did not name the company, the Associated Press reports it is likely Huawei, the giant Chinese manufacturer of cellphones, routers and other communications devices.
“Over the past week, the justice department has taken several actions to disrupt criminal activity by individuals working on behalf of the government of the People’s Republic of China,” Garland said in a speech.
He announced charges against “two PRC intelligence officers with attempting to obstruct influence and impede a criminal prosecution of a PRC-based telecommunications company.”
The two men, Guochun He and Zheng Wang, are accused of trying to direct a person with the U.S. government whom they believed was a cooperator to provide confidential information about the Justice Department’s investigation, including about witnesses, trial evidence and potential new charges. One of the defendants paid about $61,000 for the information, the Justice Department said.
The person the men reached out to began working as a double agent for the U.S government, and his contact with the defendants was overseen by the FBI.
The company is not named in the charging documents, though the references make clear that it’s Huawei, which was charged in 2019 with bank fraud and again the following year with new charges of racketeering conspiracy and a plot to steal trade secrets.
Source: AP News