Who is NYPD officer Baimadajie Angwang? All about the cop arrested for allegedly acting as an agent of China
NYPD officer Baimadajie Angwang has been arrested for allegedly acting as an agent of China. As reported by abc7NY, he was a community affairs officer in the 111 precinct in Queens and a US Army Reservist at Fort Dix.
As stated in a criminal complaint, officer Angwang allegedly acted "at the direction and control" of Chinese government officials at the consulate in New York. He allegedly used to report on the activities of ethnic Tibetans, assess potential ethnic Tibetan intelligence sources and used his official position at the police department to provide consulate officials access to senior NYPD officials, the report states.
The officer is also accused of committing wire fraud, making false statements and obstructing an official proceeding. "None of these activities falls within the scope of Angwang's official duties and responsibilities with either the NYPD or the USAR," the complaint said, as per abc7NY.
Who is Baimadajie Angwang?
Angwang is an ethnic Tibetan native of the People's Republic of China and a naturalized US citizen. As per the report, the 33-year-old stated himself as an "asset" of the People's Republic of China, according to the criminal complaint. According to abc7NY, the FBI said that since June 2018, Angwang has been allegedly “in frequent communication” with an unidentified Chinese consular official he referred to as “Boss”.
During one such phone call between Angwang and the consular official, the complaint said Angwang allegedly offered “to raise our country's soft power” by helping the consular official attend NYPD events. He also allegedly presented an offer to provide the consular official with non-public information about the internal workings of the police department. "Angwang also discussed the utility of developing sources for the PRC government in the local Tibetan community and suggested that the primary qualification for a source as follows: 'If you're willing to recognize the motherland, the motherland is willing to assist you with its resources’,” the complaint alleged, as per the report.
Before 2018 and through the present, officials say Angwang allegedly has had a connection with at least two People's Republic of China officials stationed at the Consulate. One PRC official 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"). As per the report, the department is accountable for, among other things, neutralizing sources of possible opposition to the policies and authority of the PRC.
The conversation records have revealed that the PRC officials have been an alleged “handler” of Angwang. The officer used to receive tasks from them and reported back to PRC officials.
As per the report, from August 21, 2014, to August 11, 2017, the officer allegedly called and texted one of the PRC official's cellphones on at least 53 occasions. From in or about and between June 2018 through March 2020, Angwang allegedly called and texted the other PRC official's phone on at least 55 occasions. He was also noticed to have visited the Consulate on numerous occasions during these time periods.
Angwang will make his first appearance virtually in federal court in Downtown Brooklyn. NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea also commented on the situation. “As alleged in this federal complaint, Baimadajie Angwang violated every oath he took in this country," Shea said in a statement, as reported by abc7NY. "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."
FBI Assistant Director of New York William Sweeney Jr also released a statement on Angwang, as per the report: "This is the definition of an insider threat — as alleged, Mr Angwang operated on behalf of a foreign government; lied to gain his clearance, and used his position as an NYPD police officer to aid the Chinese government's subversive and illegal attempts to recruit intelligence sources. The FBI is committed to stopping hostile foreign governments from infiltrating our institutions, and we will not tolerate the behavior of those who willingly violate their oath to the United States, and covertly work against their fellow citizens. We want to thank the NYPD for its extraordinary partnership on this investigation."
The NYPD awarded Angwang "Officer of the Month" for his initiative and public service, in 2018. According to CBS New York, he’s considered a flight risk. The officer’s parents are retired members of the government and his brother serves the Chinese army. If convicted, he faces up to 55 years in prison.