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New York City police officer arrested on charge of acting as illegal agent for China

The logo of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) is placed on a surveillance camera near Ground Zero during the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Alexandra Schuler | picture alliance | Getty Images

A New York City police officer who also serves in the U.S. Army Reserve was arrested Monday on a federal charges of acting as an illegal agent of China, authorities said.

The police officer, Baimadajie Angwang, who was born in the autonomous region of Tibet in China, allegedly repeatedly reported to officials at the Chinese consulate in New York on the activities of other ethnic Tibetans in the New York areas.

Authorties noted in a criminal complaint that Angwang, who currently works for the New York Police Department in the boroough of Queens, “initially traveled to the United States on a cultural exchange visa” but after overstaying a second visa he “eventually sought asylum in the United States on the basis that he had allegedly been arrested and tortured in the [People’s Republic of China” due partly to his this Tibetan ethnicity.

Angwang, 33, lives in Nassau County, Long Island, according to authorities.

Angwang is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. The cop was scheduled to make a virtual appearance in federal court on Monday afternoon.

According to court filings, Angwang “currently holds the rank of Staff Sergeant” in the Army Reserve, “and is stationed at Fort Dix, New Jersey in an Airborne Civil Affairs battalion.”

A criminal complaint said that Angwang, “while acting at the direction and control of PRC officials, has, among other things … reported on the activities of ethnic Tibetans, and others, in the New York metropolitan area to the Consulate” of China.

He also allegedly “spotted and assessed potential ethnic Tibetan intelligence sources in the New York metropolitan area and beyond,” the complaint said.

And Angwang “used his official position in the NYPD to provide Consulate officials access to senior NYPD officials through invitations to official NYPD events,” the complaint said.

Angwang works as a civil affairs specialist for the Army Reserve. As part of his job there, he holds “Secret” level security clearance.

The New York Police Benevolent Association, the union that represents patrol officers such as Angwang, last November on Facebook posted an photo from  a delegates meeting at which Angwang presented the American flag.

The post that said that Angwang had served one tour in Iraq and two tours in Afghanistan with the U.S. military.

This is breaking news. Check back for updates.

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