A criminal complaint spells out the accusations against 33-year-old Baimadajie Angwang, with that complaint saying that Angwang served as an illegal agent who was at the "direction and control" of Chinese government officials at the local consulate in New York. Those officials allegedly directed Angwang to keep an eye on Tibetan immigrants within the city who supported the Tibetan independence movement, and to also evaluate their possible intelligence sources, according to The Hill.
In addition to those accusations, the complaint also says that the officer used his position to connect officials at the Chinese consulate with leaders of the NYPD.
"None of these activities falls within the scope of Angwang's official duties and responsibilities with either the NYPD or the USAR," the complaint said, with the latter portion referring to the Army Reserve (for whom Angwang also served).
Angwang reportedly communicated with an official at the consulate as far back as 2014. In 2018 he is said to have connected with another unnamed official who he referred to as "boss" and "big brother."
The complaint alleges that Angwang told this official he wanted to "raise our country’s soft power" by taking the official to NYPD events and by giving him inside info on the department.
There is no evidence that he compromised national security or the operations of the NYPD, according to ABC News.
Still, as part of a statement, NYPD commissioner Dermot Shea said that Angwang had "violated every oath he took in this country."
"One to the United States, another to the U.S. Army, and a third to this Police Department,” Shea continued. “From the earliest stages of this investigation, the NYPD's Intelligence and Internal Affairs bureaus worked closely with the FBI's Counterintelligence Division to make sure this individual would be brought to justice."
Angwang, an ethnic Tibetan native of China who became a naturalized U.S. citizen, first came to the states on a "cultural exchange visa." He "eventually sought asylum" after he overstayed his second visa. He has stated that he was "arrested and tortured" while in China due to his Tibetan ethnicity.
He was due for a virtual appearance in federal court on Monday. Other charges he's facing include: wire fraud, making false statements and obstructing an official proceeding. He is being held without bail. If convicted he could serve up to 55 years in prison.