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Chinese national arrested for 'spying on US engineers'

September 26, 2018 4:03 pm

A Chinese man has been arrested for allegedly spying on US engineers and scientists on behalf of Beijing, US prosecutors say.

Ji Chaoqun, 27, was arrested in Chicago and charged with acting as an illegal foreign agent in the US, according to the US attorney’s office.

Mr Ji came to the US in 2013 to study electrical engineering and enlisted in the US Army Reserves in 2016.

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He allegedly sought to provide details on eight people for recruitment.

Mr Ji is accused of working for an unnamed high-ranking intelligence officer, according to a criminal complaint filed in a Chicago court.

Prosecutors say he targeted other Chinese nationals who were working as engineers and scientists, some of whom were US defence contractors, for potential recruitment.

He arrived from Beijing in August 2013 on a student visa and studied at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. He later earned a Master’s Degree in electrical engineering in 2015.

Mr Ji served in the US Army Reserves in 2016 and “specifically denied having contact with a foreign government within the past seven years” when he applied through a specialty programme for immigrants known as Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (Mavni).

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