Sunday, July 26, 2020

US: Singaporean pleads guilty to working for Chinese intelligence

Plea says Jun Wei Yeo set up a fake consulting site to solicit information from US government and military workers.

The move comes amid a sharp deterioration of ties between China and the US [File: Damir Sagolj/Reuters]
A Singaporean man has pleaded guilty to using his political consultancy in the United States as a front to collect information for Chinese intelligence, according to the US Department of Justice. 
In a statement on Friday, the department said Jun Wei Yeo, who is also known as Dickson Yeo, entered his plea in federal court in Washington, DC to one charge of operating illegally as a foreign agent.
The department said Yeo was "central" to a Chinese government scheme to obtain sensitive information from US citizens. 
"In response to taskings from his Chinese intelligence contacts, Yeo worked to spot and assess Americans with access to valuable non-public information, including US military and government employees with high-level security clearances," it said. 
He then paid some of those individuals to write reports that were ostensibly for his clients in Asia, but sent instead to the Chinese government, the department added. 
The guilty plea comes as the US cracks down on alleged Chinese spying, including pressing visa fraud charges against four Chinese scientists who investigators said hid their ties to the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and ordering the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston on the accusation of intellectual property theft. 

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