US arrests two Chinese officials for thwarting Huawei investigation

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The United States has arrested two Chinese intelligence officials. They are suspected of thwarting an investigation into a Chinese company. According to various American media, it concerns phone manufacturer Huawei.

The two men are charged with attempting to interfere in the prosecution of a company, writes the US Department of Justice on Monday. The court documents do not name the company, but the indictment refers to the same dates the US announced its charges against Huawei in 2019 and 2020, writing among others CNN and The Wall Street Journal. In 2019, the two officials are said to have made the first attempt to access non-public information about the Justice Department’s investigation.

The government agency says the pair were trying to obtain confidential information about witnesses, evidence and possible new charges against the company. Among other things, they allegedly tried to recruit someone from “an American law enforcement agency” who could spy for them. The recruit, who is referred to as GE-1, was actually working as a double agent for the United States under the supervision of the FBI.

Since October 2021, the two men have paid the recruit $14,000 and donated $600 in jewelry. In return, they believed they would receive confidential information about the Justice Department’s investigation and the company’s criminal charges, the indictment said. GE-1 also received $41,000 in bitcoin for a document that allegedly contained an alleged plan by federal investigators to arrest two of the company’s China-based executives.

China and Huawei have not yet commented on the arrests and allegations.

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