NEW YORK — An NYPD police officer who is also U.S. Army reservist was charged Monday with secretly serving as a spy for the Chinese government.
Baimadajie Angwang, who works as a community affairs officer in the 111th Precinct in Queens, allegedly began acting on behalf of the People’s Republic of China in May 2018 after being recruited by an unidentified “handler” stationed in the Chinese consulate in Manhattan, according to a complaint unsealed in Brooklyn federal court, New York Post reported.
Angwang, 33, allegedly “served as an intelligence asset” whose duties included gathering information on potential opponents of the Chinese government, including members of “religious and ethnic minorities.”
His handler, identified only as “PRC Official-2,” is believed to have been assigned to a division of the Chinese United Front Work Department that’s responsible for “neutralizing sources of potential opposition to the policies and authority of the PRC,” court papers say.
Angwang also “asked PRC Official-2 for taskings and volunteered to assist PRC Official-2 by providing information from NYPD systems,” court papers say.
The officer also allegedly “provided Consulate officials access to senior NYPD officials through invitations to official NYPD events.”
Angwang is a naturalized U.S. citizen, the Post reported.
Wiretapped phone conversations allegedly caught Angwang boasting about his NYPD job, including by telling his handler to let his bosses “know, hey, you have someone in the police here” and saying they “should be happy…because you have stretched your reach into the police.”
Angwang also “stated that his motivation to be promoted in the NYPD was to assist the PRC and bring ‘glory to China’” and that if he “could not be promoted within the NYPD, he stated that ‘he might as well as be a government employee in China,’” according to court papers.
Angwang is also charged with wire fraud, making false statements and obstruction. As a result, he faces up to 55 years in prison if convicted.
He was due in court Monday afternoon, according to the report.