Suspected Espionage Activity in Germany Linked to China


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Suspected Espionage Activity

Suspected Espionage Activity

Three individuals suspected of engaging in espionage activities for China and facilitating the transfer of sensitive technology information were apprehended in Germany on Monday. The suspects, all German citizens, are alleged to have been collaborating with Chinese intelligence operatives since before June 2022.

Procurement of Militarily Sensitive Information

One of the suspects, known as Thomas R., purportedly operated as an agent for an employee of China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS) and acquired data in Germany related to “militarily usable innovative technologies.” Thomas R. enlisted the assistance of Herwig F. and Ina F., a couple who own a company in Duesseldorf, to establish connections with German researchers.

Technology Transfer and Export Violations

The couple, Herwig F. and Ina F., allegedly orchestrated a research transfer agreement with an undisclosed German company, developing a study on machine parts technology applicable to potent ship engines, including those found in naval vessels. This project, financed by the Chinese state and overseen by Thomas R.’s MSS contact, aimed to enhance the combat capabilities of the Chinese navy. Additionally, the group illicitly procured a specialized laser using MSS funds and unlawfully exported it to China without proper authorization.

The suspects were in the midst of negotiations for additional research projects that could further bolster China’s maritime military capabilities at the time of their arrests. Searches were conducted at the residences and workplaces of the arrested individuals located in Duesseldorf and Bad Homburg, near Frankfurt.

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