Germany arrests three suspected of spying for China

Three people suspected of spying for China and arranging to transfer information on technology with potential military uses were arrested in Germany on Monday.

Prosecutors said the three German citizens are accused of having acted for Chinese intelligence since some point before June 2022. They are also suspected of violating German export laws by exporting a special laser without permission.

One of the suspects, identified only as Thomas R. in line with German privacy laws, was allegedly an agent for an employee of China's Ministry of State Security and procured information in Germany on “militarily usable innovative technologies” for that person, federal prosecutors said in a statement.

To do that, prosecutors said, he used Herwig F. and Ina. F, a couple who own a company in Duesseldorf that was used to contact and work with German researchers.

The couple allegedly set up a research transfer agreement with an unidentified German university, the first step in which was to draw up a study for a Chinese partner on the technology of machine parts that could be used for powerful ship engines, including those in battleships. Thomas R.'s handler at the MSS was behind the Chinese partner and the project was financed by the Chinese state, prosecutors said.

At the time of the arrests, the suspects were in negotiations on further research projects that could be useful for expanding China's naval combat strength, they added.


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