In documents from the U.S. Department of Justice, Williston Park resident and New York City Police officer Baimadajie Angwang was arrested and charged on Sept. 21 with acting as an illegal agent of the People’s Republic of China.
In the criminal complaint, it states that between May of 2018 to present day, both dates being approximate and inclusive, Angwang knowingly acted in the United States as an agent of a foreign government without prior notification to the attorney general of the United States, as required by law. Angwang is being charged with committing wire fraud, making false statements and obstructing an official proceeding.
Angwang, 33, is a Tibetan native of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and is a naturalized U.S. citizen who initially traveled to the United States on a cultural exchange visa. According to court documents, Angwang overstayed a second visa and eventually sought asylum in the United States on the basis that he had allegedly been arrested and tortured in the PRC due partly to this Tibetan ethnicity. As a police officer, Angwang was assigned to the 111th Precinct in Bayside where he served as a patrol officer and member of the precinct’s crime prevention team. He is currently assigned to the community affairs unit where his duties include serving as a liaison between the NYPD and the community served by the 111th Precinct. Angwang is also employed by the U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) where he currently holds the rank of staff sergeant and is stationed at Fort Dix, NJ.
The court documents allege that since approximately 2018 to present, Angwang maintained a relationship with at least two PRC officials stationed at the Consulate in New York. One of the officials is believed to have been assigned to the China Association for Preservation and Development of Tibetan Culture—a division of the PRC’s United Front Work Department (UFWD). The department is responsible for, among other things, neutralizing sources of potential opposition to the policies and authority of the PRC.
The investigation has revealed that Angwang, while acting at the direction and control of PRC officials reported on the activities of ethnic Tibetans and others in the New York metropolitan area to the Consulate, spotted and assessed potential ethnic Tibetan intelligence sources in the New York metropolitan area and beyond, and used his official position in the NYPD to provide Consulate officials access to senior NYPD officials through invitations to official NYPD events. The court documents note that none of those activities falls within the scope of Angwang’s official duties and responsibilities with either the NYPD or the USAR.
“The defendant allegedly violated his sworn oath to serve the New York City community and defend the Constitution against all enemies by reporting to PRC government officials about the activities of Chinese citizens in the New York area and developing intelligence sources within the Tibetan community in the United States,” acting United States Attorney DuCharme said in a statement. “This office, together with our law enforcement partners, remains vigilant in rooting out any attempts at foreign influence through criminal activity taken on behalf of a foreign power in whatever form they may take.”
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea also weighed in about the allegations made against one of his officers.
“As alleged in this federal complaint, Baimadajie Angwang 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 said. “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.”
If convicted, Angwang faces a maximum sentence of 55 years’ imprisonment.