German Business Owners Arrested for Ties to Chinese Spies

Written by Camilla Jessen

Apr.22 - 2024 10:49 AM CET

Germany arrests three individuals suspected of spying for China.

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German prosecutors announced on Monday that three German nationals have been arrested for allegedly collaborating with the Chinese secret service to transfer technologies that could be used for military purposes.

This development was reported by Reuters.

The suspects, identified as Herwig F. and Ina F., a married couple who own a company in Dusseldorf, along with Thomas R., described by prosecutors as an agent acting under the instructions of an employee from China's Ministry of State Security (MSS), are currently under investigation.

Connections to China's Secret Service

The couple, through their business, had entered into a cooperation agreement with a German university to prepare a study for a Chinese contractual partner on machine parts that could be used in powerful marine engines, including those in combat ships, according to the statement. The Chinese contractual partner was the same MSS employee who gave orders to Thomas R.

The suspects are accused of purchasing a specialized laser in Germany, funded by the MSS, and exporting it to China without proper authorization, the prosecutors added.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited China last week to push for equal market access for German firms and to convey Europe’s concerns about Beijing’s economic policies and its support for Russia.

The Chinese embassy in Berlin has not yet responded to a request for comment.

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