NYPD cop arrested for spying for China was seen with AOC in Tibetan New Year party last year, raising suspicion
Baimadajie Angwang, the New York City police officer accused of acting as China’s agent in the US, was arrested on September 21 at his residence on Nassau County in Long Island. Tibet-born Angwang reportedly raised suspicions at a Tibetan New Year party last year, which was also attended by Democratic NY lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. An image shared by AOC herself on social media showed the disgraced cop sitting beside her at a table, according to New York Post.
Angwang, 33, has been suspended from the New York Police Department's 111th precinct in Queens. Prosecutors said he was in regular contact with a member of the Chinese consulate in New York, who was allegedly his “handler”. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Angwang worked with two officers at the consulate and investigators have access to tape recordings of their talks and other communications.
Federal prosecutors have accused Angwang of supplying intelligence on Tibetans residing in NYC in lieu of money for at least two years now. He has even been accused of offering the Chinese officials who worked with him access to senior personnel in the police department. Tibet is governed as an autonomous region of China and according to Beijing, the region has developed significantly under its rule. China is often accused of violating human rights in Tibet, which it denies.
The federal complaint accusing Angwang has also claimed that he has committed wire fraud against the defense department by providing false statements and hindering official proceedings. Angwang is also listed as a staff sergeant with the US Army Reserve at Fort Dix in New Jersey. He also got several awards and had a secret-level security clearance. Angwang, who also served five years in the Marine, is a Tibetan native of China and a naturalized American citizen who lives in NY’s Williston Park, according to the complaint.
On September 22, it was revealed that suspicions over Angwang’s alleged illegal activity got strong while at a party where AOC was also present. A photograph shared by the lawmaker on her Instagram page showed her sitting next to Angwang and a woman holding a child at a community center at Woodside, Queens. Ocasio-Cortez's office, however, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the issue, the New York Post reported.
Tibetan community members not surprised
Members of the Tibetan community in Queens said they were not surprised to hear Angwang’s story, according to CBS2. "Communist China never give a chance to a Tibetan people… this is the idea of Communist China," one person was quoted as saying. "They have thousands of Tibetans living here in New York and New Jersey, you know, and we never create any problems," said another.
NYC Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said in a statement: "As alleged in this federal complaint, Baimadajie Angwang violated every oath he took in this country. One to the United States, another to the US Army, and a third to this Police Department. 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."
CBS2 also reported that China denied the allegations as a "pure fabrication" and they are not part of America’s plot to taint its diplomats located in the US.
Angwang will get a future hearing on bail but no date has been set yet, CBS News reported. If convicted, he could face up to 55 years in prison.