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Sun Hoi Ying, 53, operated in the United States from February 2017 to February 2022, when he hired private investigators and conspired with at least one U.S. law enforcement officer to collect personal information about targets for the Chinese government, according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Damian Williams. He remains at large in China.
In one case, Sun, with the help of a local U.S. law enforcement officer, threatened and pressured a person in New York City who was targeted by the Chinese government with allegations that certain negative and retaliatory measures would be taken if the person did not do so. comply with Beijing’s requirements.
In another case, Sun hired private investigators to collect a victim’s personal information, which the Chinese government released on a list of dissidents. While Sun was gathering this information, the victim’s daughter, a U.S. citizen who was pregnant at the time, was detained against her will in China for about eight months, prosecutors said. Government officials told the victim not to ask for help from Washington and that she would not be allowed to leave China until she convinced her relative to return to China.
The indictment against Sun Hoi Ying was contained in a criminal charge in Manhattan set up as part of an FBI investigation into individuals working toward Beijing to pressure individuals in the United States and elsewhere to return to China.
Williams said Sun’s actions were part of what the Government of the People’s Republic of China called “Operation Fox Hunting,” when it announced in July 2014 that it would persecute and repatriate Chinese nationals.
The recent case is part of a trend towards what they FBI and the Department of Justice have described as “transnational repression” – episodes in which agents of a foreign government have tried to silence dissidents living in the United States
Earlier this month, the Justice Department charged five people acting on behalf of the Chinese government in a campaign to persecute, intimidate and silence government activists or dissidents, including a congressional candidate in New York.
In a 2020 case that introduced the Fox Hunt investigation, prosecutors charged eight people in a Chinese government press campaign aimed at forcing a New Jersey man wanted by Beijing to return to China to stay. accused.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.