The FBI helped shut down a clandestine Chinese “police station” in Manhattan after the arrest of two alleged operatives earlier this week — but The Post is told that there are several more of these illegal organizations scattered across the US.
In addition to the Chinese police station above a noodle restaurant in Manhattan’s Chinatown, there is another station at an undisclosed address in New York City, as well as an outpost in Los Angeles, according to a new report by Safeguard Defenders.
The Madrid-based human rights group initially published a report last year detailing 100 clandestine Chinese police stations around the world.
In addition to Los Angeles and New York, the nonprofit has found so-called “overseas service stations” in San Francisco and Houston as well as in cities in Nebraska and Minnesota.
These law enforcement organizations, operated by the Chinese Communist Party, are tasked with spying on Chinese nationals around the world.
“We found at least four listed in the US by PRC [People’s Republic of China] public security authorities, plus flagged an additional four overseas Chinese service centers in the US set up by the UFWD networks responsible for manning the stations,” a spokeswoman for Safeguard Defenders told The Post Tuesday.
UFWD is an acronym for United Front Work Department, a Chinese government agency that controls overseas ethnic and religious affairs.
Often, the police stations — whose operatives allegedly spy on dissidents and others — hide behind nonprofits and community associations, according to Safeguard Defenders’ reports.
In Chinatown, the police station was run by the America ChangLe Association NY Inc., which owns the building at 107 East Broadway where the operation was located, The Post revealed in October.
The nonprofit, which listed its charitable mission as a “social gathering place for Fujianese people,” paid $1.3 million in 2016 for the suite of offices that houses the Fuzhou Police Overseas Chinese Affairs bureau at the East Broadway location, filings show.
Last year, the group held its annual gala dinner, featuring New York City Mayor Eric Adams as the guest of honor — an event that was not disclosed on the mayor’s official agenda.
On Monday, federal agents arrested “Harry” Lu Jianwang, 61, of the Bronx, and Chen Jinping, 59, of Manhattan for allegedly establishing the East Broadway station, known as the Fuzhou branch of the Ministry of Public Security in China.
The men allegedly shut down the station last year when they became aware of a federal investigation, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.
“While acting under the direction and control of an MPS [China’s Ministry of Public Security] Official, Lu and Chen helped open and operate the clandestine police station,” said the DOJ statement. “None of the participants in the scheme informed the US government that they were helping the PRC government surreptitiously open and operate an illegal MPS police station on US soil.”
According to the criminal complaint, Lu also helped track down dissidents who were living in the city. Chinese officials also requested that he participate in demonstrations against Falun Gong, a religious movement subject to crackdown across the globe by the Chinese Communist Party, the complaint said.
“This prosecution reveals the Chinese government’s flagrant violation of our nation’s sovereignty by establishing a secret police station in the middle of New York City,” US Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement. “Such a police station has no place here in New York City — or any American community.”
Lu and Chen also tried to obstruct the DOJ’s investigation by deleting their communications with an official of MPS after finding out about the FBI investigation, federal prosecutors said.
The criminal complaint against Lu and Chen was unsealed Monday at the same time that 44 other defendants were charged, in two separate complaints in Brooklyn federal court, for various crimes related to illegally acting on behalf of China in the US.
More than 30 of those charged Monday were members of a Chinese police task force, the 912 Special Working Group, that operated as a “troll farm” out of a security building in Beijing, prosecutors said.
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