(TibetanReview.net, Oct08’20) – Baimadajie Angwang, a man said to be from Tibet and caught spying on Tibetans in New York City, is to remain in jail after his $1 million bail granted by a trial court was turned down on appeal on Oct 7.
Federal Judge Eric Komitee ordered the detention of Queens cop Baimadajie Angwang after prosecutors appealed a magistrate judge’s decision to grant him $1 million bond and confine him to house arrest. Prosecutors argued that Angwang could slip away from authorities – possibly by seeking asylum in the Chinese consulate in Manhattan – thereby evading justice, reported foxnews.com Oct 7.
“Defendant clearly has strong ties to China, a country with which the United States has no extradition treaty,” Komitee’s order was stated to read, adding that given the evidence against Angwang, the court concluded he “poses a serious risk of flight.”
Angwang, 33, is charged with acting as a foreign agent for Beijing, obstruction, wire fraud and making false statements. Prosecutors have alleged that he took direction from Chinese handlers and tracked the activities of New York’s Tibetan community since at least 2018 and tried to infiltrate Tibetan groups in the area.
Angang worked as a community affair officer in the NYPD’s 111th Precinct and served in the Army Reserve during his alleged spying. He has since been suspended without pay.
“It should go without saying that a law enforcement officer’s decision to act on behalf of a foreign government, and in doing so to inform on the activities of fellow citizens, can have serious repercussions even absent the passing of state secrets,” the court was quoted as saying.
The court has noted that Angwang could face denaturalization proceedings and deportation to China after serving a possible prison sentence which could be for up to 55 years.
He had arrived in the US as a teenager on a visitor visa from China and later sought asylum.
In this connection Komitee has said, “Defendant averred in his asylum application that he was ‘afraid to return to China,’ but has voluntarily traveled there numerous times since.”