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UK charges three with helping Hong Kong’s spy agency

by editor

LONDON — Three people have been charged in the U.K. with assisting Hong Kong’s intelligence service.

The Metropolitan Police announced Monday that Chi Leung Wai, 38, from Staines-upon-Thames; Matthew Trickett, 37, from Maidenhead; and Chung Biu Yuen, 63, from Hackney; had all been charged with assisting a foreign intelligence service and foreign interference.

It marks the latest round of charges under the U.K.’s new National Security Act, which passed last year and aimed to overhaul the U.K.’s espionage laws.

All three are due appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday, the force said.

In a statement, commander Dominic Murphy, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command stressed that the latest operation was “not connected to a recently reported Counter Terrorism Policing investigation linked to Russia.” That investigation saw two Brits charged under the same national security law. with helping Russian intelligence.

“While these offenses are concerning, I want to reassure the public that we do not believe there to be any wider threat to them,” Murphy said of the Hong Kong operation. “This investigation remains ongoing, but now that charges have been brought, I urge people not to speculate or comment further in relation to this case.”

The British government has long criticized China’s 2020 imposition of a draconian national security law on Hong Kong, a former British territory.

Earlier this year, Deputy Foreign Secretary Andrew Mitchell said the rights and freedoms of Hong Kongers had been “deliberately eroded” by that legislation.

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