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Germany arrests 3 suspected of spying for China

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German authorities have arrested three people suspected of supplying information on military technology to a Chinese intelligence service, prosecutors said Monday.

The three suspects, German nationals named Herwig F., Ina F. and Thomas R., are “strongly suspected of having worked for a Chinese secret service since an unspecified date before June 2022,” Germany’s federal prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

Prosecutors described Thomas R. as an agent for an employee of the Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS), while Herwig F. and Ina F. are a married couple who run a company in Düsseldorf.

Through their company, Herwig F. and Ina F. concluded a “cooperation agreement” with a German university, which included preparing a study for a Chinese partner on machine parts that are important for the operation of powerful ship engines, including those used on combat ships, according to prosecutors.

Behind the Chinese contractor was the MSS employee who gave orders to Thomas R., and the project was financed by Chinese state agencies, they added.

“At the time of their arrest, the defendants were in further negotiations on research projects that could be useful for expanding China’s maritime combat power,” prosecutors said.

The suspects also reportedly purchased a “special laser” from Germany on behalf of Beijing’s MSS and exported it to China without authorization.

Last week, Germany arrested two German-Russian nationals suspected of plotting sabotage attacks against military infrastructure, industrial sites and U.S. military sites in complicity with Moscow.

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