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Chinese national accused of recruiting engineers, scientists as spies in the U.S.

September 25, 2018

A Chinese national was arrested on Tuesday and is accused of plotting to recruit Chinese engineers and scientists working at U.S. companies as spies, according to federal court documents.

Ji Chaogquz, 27, was arrested in Chicago and charged with acting as an illegal agent of the People’s Republic of China.

A complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois alleges Mr. Ji was tasked with providing a Chinese intelligence officer with biographical information on eight individuals for possible recruitment.

“All eight individuals either currently worked in or were recently retired from a career in the science and technology industry, including several individuals specializing in aerospace fields.... at least seven of the eight individuals worked for, or had recently retired from, cleared U.S. defense contractors,” the complaint said.

Mr. Ji arrived in the United States in 2013 on an F1 Visa for the purpose of studying electrical engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.

In 2016, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves under a program that authorizes the military to recruit legal aliens whose skills are considered vital to the national interest, the Justice Department said.

Mr. Ji specifically denied having contact with a foreign government in his application, the Justice Department said. He also failed to disclose his ties to the Chinese government in an interview with a U.S. Army officer, the Justice Department said.

Mr. Ji is set to make his initial appearance before a federal judge in Chicago on Tuesday.

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