The Department of Justice unsealed an indictment Monday claiming a Chinese citizen working with the Chinese Communist Party conspired with a New York police officer to blackmail and spy on American citizens to get them to return to China.
Sun Hoi Ying, 53, faces charges of acting as an unregistered foreign agent in the U.S. on behalf of the Chinese government from 2017 to 2022.
Sun, who is at large in China, was part of the CCP’s “Operation Fox Hunt,” which sought to forcibly repatriate people the Communist regime labeled “fugitives,” which included Chinese nationals and legal U.S. citizens.
“This case demonstrates, once again, the PRC’s [People’s Republic of China] disdain for the rule of law and its efforts to coerce and intimidate those it targets on our shores as part of its Operation Fox Hunt,” Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen said in a press release.
“The defendant allegedly traveled to the United States and enlisted others, including a sworn law enforcement officer, to spy on and blackmail his victims,” he said, adding, “Such conduct is both criminal and reprehensible.”
Sun reportedly used private investigators and a police officer in New York City to spy on victims, including the parent of a pregnant U.S. citizen forcibly held in China.
“We allege Mr. Sun, as part of that campaign, attempted to threaten and coerce a victim into bending to the PRC’s will, even using a co-conspirator who is a member of local U.S. law enforcement to reinforce that the victim had no choice but to comply with the PRC Government’s demands,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said.
The indictment comes one month after the Department of Justice announced it was replacing the controversial Trump-era China Initiative with a more “comprehensive” security strategy.