Fri, 17 Sep 2021

Washington [US], July 23 (ANI): The US Department of Justice (DoJ) on Thursday indicted nine persons associated with the Chinese covert operation 'Fox hunt', who use to forcibly repatriate Beijing's dissidents.

The nine people, including Chinese nationals and an American private investigator, were charged with acting as illegal agents of China, conspiracy and illegal stalking of dissidents and Beijing regime critics between 2016 and 2019, reported Washington Times.

One of those indicted was identified as Tu Lan, a prosecutor with the Hanyang People's Procuratorate, near Wuhan, China.

Court documents charge that Tu travelled to the United States and directed the harassment campaign and ordered another defendant to destroy evidence in the FBI's investigation, reported Washington Post.

Prosecutors said the men were operating under the direction of the Chinese Communist government and spied on and harassed US residents, pressuring them to return to China.

"Fox Hunt is a sweeping bid by [Chinese President] Xi Jinping to target Chinese nationals he sees as threats and who live outside of China across the world," FBI Director Christopher A Wray said in a speech last year.

Many of Fox Hunt targets reside in the United States and are citizens or permanent residents, the indictment said. Federal enforcement officials had already targeted the operation as a threat before Thursday's indictments were unsealed, reported Washington Times.

Chinese Fox Hunt teams are made up of undercover agents from the government's Ministry of Public Security, who were recruited to target dissidents, human rights activists and other political opponents. (ANI)

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