Three men arrested in UK accused of harassing Hong Kong protesters

Three men arrested in UK accused of harassing Hong Kong protesters

The UK government has identified another espionage case involving China. Three people were arrested on Monday (13) accused of carrying out a surveillance operation against local activists ordered by the Hong Kong government. Information in the newspaper South China Morning Post.

One of those arrested was identified as Yuen Chung-piu, a civil servant who works at the Hong Kong Economic and Commercial Office in London. The other two are Peter Wai Chi-Leung and Matthew Trickett. All were released on bail but had to surrender their passports in an attempt to prevent escape.

A UK police officer at a NATO event in London, September 2014 (Photo: Disclosure/Alex Knott)

All three are charged with foreign interference and aiding and abetting a foreign intelligence service. These are crimes covered by the National Security Act, which came into effect last year, and is aimed at combating the activities of intelligence agencies of hostile countries.

According to the network BBCEleven people were detained by local authorities, but only three will face charges. The trio also entered a residence on May 1 when activists were harassed at the behest of the Hong Kong government.

The operation was carried out by agents of the British police's counter-terrorism service in the context of a crackdown on spying by the British government.

Increasing espionage

The relationship between London and Beijing has been marked by growing concerns about Chinese espionage and interference, including in the British Parliament. This has led the UK government to discuss taking drastic measures to reduce these risks, including the adoption of national security legislation.

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Last year, there was an unusual warning about parliamentary intervention over the activities of Christine Ching Gui Lee, a London-based lawyer who was accused of “establishing links” to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) with members of British parliament.

The United Kingdom's domestic intelligence service, MI5, has accused the lawyer of engaging in political interference activities, including providing funds to support the work of lawmakers.

Other countries, such as Australia and Canada, have also faced recent accusations of Chinese espionage or political interference, although the Chinese government has denied any involvement in these types of activities.

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