Chinese man charged in scheme to coerce nationals to return to China


A Chinese national is charged with threatening so-called “fugitives” living in the US and elsewhere to return to China as part of a scheme to stifle dissent, New York prosecutors announced Wednesday.

Sun Hoi Ying – also known as Sun Haiying – worked for the Chinese government inside the US from 2017 through 2022 on “Operation Fox Hunt” and “Operation Skynet,” according to a criminal complaint unsealed in Manhattan federal court.

Sun gathered information about the “fugitives” and used leverage to try to force them to return to China to face charges or settle with the Chinese government, the complaint alleges.

Sun, 53, hired a private investigator to gather information on 12 people “who Sun identified as Chinese criminals” and he then fed that information back to the Chinese government, the complaint alleges.

Sun even enlisted the help of a local American law enforcement officer to set up a meeting with one of these targets, the complaint says. Sun told the person that the Chinese government would retaliate against them if they did not enter into a settlement, the complaint alleges.

In one instance, the Chinese government held the pregnant daughter of one of the targets Sun was seeking in China “against her will” for eight months, the complaint alleges.

The woman was told she couldn’t leave China until she helped bring her parent back to China to resolve their criminal case, the complaint alleges.

According to Manhattan US Attorney Damian Williams, Sun is part of a "global plot" from China to repress dissent and repatriate Chinese nationals.
According to Manhattan US Attorney Damian Williams, Sun Hoi Ying is part of a “global plot” from China to repress dissent and repatriate Chinese nationals.
AP Photo/Jeenah Moon

Despite working as an agent of the Chinese government, Sun didn’t register with the US Attorney General, as is legally required, the complaint alleges.

China launched “a global plot to repress dissent and to forcibly repatriate so-called ‘fugitives’ – including citizens living legally in the United States – through the use of unsanctioned, unilateral, and illegal practices,” Manhattan US Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement.

“We allege Mr. Sun, as part of that campaign, attempted to threaten and coerce a victim into bending to the PRC’s will, even using a co-conspirator who is a member of local U.S. law enforcement to reinforce that the victim had no choice but to comply with the PRC Government’s demands,” the statement continued.

Sun is charged with one count of conspiracy and one count of actingas an agent of a foreign government without notifying the Attorney General. He faces up to 15 years behind bars if convicted on both counts.

Sun is at large in China, according to the US Attorney’s Office.



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