Operation Fox Hunt: US arrests eight in alleged plot to intimidate citizens to return to China

WION Web Team Washington Oct 28, 2020, 11.05 PM(IST) Oct 28, 2020, 11.16 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The Justice Department informed charges of conspiracy to act as an agent of China carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. 

The United States government has charged eight people for running an "illegal Chinese law enforcement operation known as Fox Hunt".

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"Since 2014, at the direction of Chinese General Secretary Xi Jinping, China has been engaged in a global operation known as Fox Hunt," Assistant Attorney General John Demers said.

"China describes Fox Hunt as an international anti-corruption campaign in which it seeks to locate legitimate fugitives around the world and bring them to China to face genuine criminal charges," Demers said, adding," But in many instances the hunted are opponents of Communist Party Chairman Xi -- political rivals, dissidents, and critics," he said. "In either event, the operation is a clear violation of the rule of law and international norms."

The US Assistant Attorney General said that five Chinese agents were arrested in the United States with three believed to be in China. Zhu Yong, Hongru Jin, Michael McMahon Rong Jing and Zheng Congying were arrested by US officials as three others Zhu Feng, Hu Ji, and Li Minjun remained untraced.

"The Chinese government's brazen attempts to surveil, threaten, and harass our own citizens and lawful permanent residents, while on American soil, are part of China's diverse campaign of theft and malign influence in our country and around the world," FBI Director Wray said.

The Justice Department informed charges of conspiracy to act as an agent of China carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. 

Court records showed the agents were allegedly involved in a plot known as  “Operation Fox Hunt” and “Operation Skynet" between 2016 and 2019.

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