US arrests ex-CIA official linked to spying for China

Jerry Chun Shing Lee, a US citizen was produced before a federal magistrate on Tuesday, the judge ordered Lee to be held without bail. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team Washington, DC, United States Jan 18, 2018, 03.13 AM (IST)

A former CIA official who lives in Hong Kong was arrested by US authorities in New York airport on Monday after FBI agents allegedly found classified information in his hotel room, including two small books containing information on details of true names and numbers of spy recruits and covert CIA employees. 

Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 53, a US citizen was produced before a federal magistrate on Tuesday, the judge ordered Lee to be held without bail.

According to the FBI agent, Lee served in the US Army from 1982 to 1986 and worked for the CIA from 1994 to 2007.

The FBI said the documents could cause "exceptionally grave damage" to the national security of the United States.

Lee was earlier interviewed by the CIA in 2013 but did not disclose he had the documents, reports said.

Lee has been reportedly linked to China's dismantling of CIA's network of undercover operatives inside China five years ago.

This is the third arrest in one year of US officials suspected of helping Chinese spies. In June last year, ex-CIA official, Kevin Mallory was arrested for allegedly hading over US secrets to Chinese agents for $25,000. 

In February, 2017, a US diplomat Candace Claiborne was arrested and charged with accepting cash and gifts from Chinese intelligence officials.