German espionage: Three suspected Chinese agents arrested

Image source, Getty Images

Comment on the photo, The arrests took place in the states of Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia

German authorities said they arrested three people on suspicion of spying for China.

The main suspect, named Thomas R, is accused of spying for China's Ministry of State Security (MSS).

Prosecutors allege that his network ran a front company that cooperated with German research organizations.

The defendants are said to have collected sensitive information, including designs for an engine suitable for use in combat ships, to transfer to China.

In a separate development, two men were charged in the United Kingdom with spying for China after being accused of providing information that might be “useful to the enemy,” according to police.

In the German case, prosecutors allege that Thomas R. obtained “innovative technologies for military use” on behalf of an MSS employee. They also claim he used a company – run by the other two suspects, Herwig F and Ina F – that contacted people working in science and research.

It is claimed that the first project related to powering high-performance marine engines for use in combat ships has already been completed.

Prosecutors said that at the time of their arrest, the defendants were conducting further negotiations on other projects that could be beneficial to the Chinese Navy.

They added that the arrests took place in the states of Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia in western Germany.

Interior Minister Nancy Wieser said the arrest of the three suspects in Germany represents a “major success for our counterintelligence.”

“The area affected in the current case – innovative technologies from Germany that could be used for military purposes – is particularly sensitive,” she added.

The arrests come a week after Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited Beijing, where he raised issues including China's support for Russia since the invasion of Ukraine.

The two men, who were described as holding German and Russian citizenship, were arrested on suspicion of spying for Russia.

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