Two New York residents have been arrested and charged after allegedly running an illegal Manhattan police station for the Chinese government.
The pair face federal charges of operating the undeclared outpost in the Chinatown neighborhood and conspiring to act as agents for Beijing, said the US attorney for the eastern district of New York.
The case is part of a wider effort by the Justice Department to crack down on Chinese government attempts to harass dissidents and stifle free speech in the US, officials added.
It comes as a complaint was filed in Washington against 34 members of Beijing’s Municipal Public Security Bureau, and another against a group of 10 people including eight Chinese government officials, NBC New York reported.
The common thread in the three complaints was that the suspects allegedly worked to intimidate, harass and threaten “wanted” Chinese nationals inside the US.
The bureau said last November it was aware that China was running a de facto police station in Manhattan, outside of proper procedure or authority, as part of a global network of such outposts.
In the autumn of 2022, FBI counterintelligence agents searched the outpost’s offices, located on the third floor of a nondescript building on East Broadway, the New York Times reported.