Ex-defence intelligence officer arrested over alleged spying for China

US official charged with taking US$800,000 from Chinese

"During his military service, the US government entrusted Hansen with access to sensitive government materials, including closely held national defense information and classified documents and materials", the charges state.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Warner signed a 15-count indictment against Hansen.

Rep. Chris Stewart was the only Utah representative on the 22-member committee at that time. Hansen allegedly told the source about his ongoing contact with the PRCIS.

The criminal complaint tells a convoluted tale of an FBI investigation that began in 2014, followed by meetings the next year between Hansen and the FBI, in which he described attempts by Chinese intelligence agents to recruit him. He was unaware of the probe, and participated in nine voluntary meetings with federal agents in Salt Lake City. US counterintelligence has made thwarting Chinese attempts at recruiting human intelligence assets a priority.

A U.S. Army veteran was arrested over the weekend and charged with trying to spy on the United States for China.

The Justice Department said that from 2013 to 2017, Hansen traveled between the United States and China regularly and gave information he obtained from military and intelligence conferences to China. Since 2013, Hansen received at least $800,000 in funds originating from China, according to the Justice Department. Among other offers, he allegedly tried to work as a double agent against Chinese intelligence. Hansen received more than $800,000 in cash, wires and credit card transactions and improperly sold export-controlled technology to persons in China, records said.

Hansen made regular trips between the USA and China from 2013 to 2017, according to the government complaint.

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The arrest is the latest in a series of American officials who have been charged for spying on behalf of Beijing.

He agreed in a brief court appearance to be returned to his home state of Utah to face charges. He was carrying classified information when he was taken into custody, authorities said.

Ron Rockwell Hansen, 58, of Syracuse, was arrested Saturday afternoon on charges including the attempted transmission of national defense information to the People's Republic of China.

Officials said he was arrested after a sting operation near the Seattle airport, as he was headed toward a China-bound flight.

In 2016, Hansen met with two former DIA colleagues in Texas. He suggested the informant should "cut a hole in a nearby tree and hide [the documents] in that location", agents wrote.

In January, former Central Intelligence Agency agent Jerry Chun Shing Lee (李春興) was arrested on charges that he sold information to China, reportedly providing information on the CIA's network of informants that was brought down by China between 2010 and 2012.

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