CHINA-US: US DEFENCE INTELLIGENCE OFFICER ARRESTED FOR ESPIONAGE

58-year old Ron Rockwell Hansen of Syracuse, Utah, a former US Defense Intelligence Agency officer, was arrested on June 2, by the FBI and charged with trying to sell U.S. government secrets to Chinese spies and taking at least $800,000 in suspicious funds flowing from China. He was arrested after a four-year FBI investigation that tracked alleged payments and communications with Chinese intelligence agents. Officials said he was arrested after a sting operation near the Seattle airport, as he was headed toward a China-bound flight. Hansen’s arrest is the latest in a flurry of recent espionage cases involving China. Former CIA officer Jerry Chun Shing Lee was indicted on espionage charges last month, while Kevin Mallory, another ex-CIA officer, is on trial in Virginia on espionage charges.


Hansen worked as a military intelligence case officer at the DIA from 2000 to 2006, when he retired from the military. Between 2006 and 2011, he did contract work for the DIA. The 15-count complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City accuses Hansen of attempting to gather or deliver national defense information to aid a foreign government, acting as an unregistered foreign agent of China, bulk cash smuggling, and smuggling goods from the United States. Officials said he repeatedly attended conferences about intelligence issues and traveled to China 40 times since 2013. In 2016, Hansen met with two former DIA colleagues in Texas. At the meeting, Hansen told one colleague that he was “stringing along” Chinese intelligence officials until the FBI decided whether to use him as a “double agent,” according to the complaint. That colleague became alarmed by Hansen’s references to Chinese intelligence and filed a suspicious-incident report, which prompted the FBI to begin using that person as a confidential source. Over time, the complaint said, Hansen spoke more and more with the confidential source about selling information to China, and, in a conversation in April, Hansen said the Chinese would pay $200,000 for the U.S. “China ops plan” for a possible military intervention with China. Hansen also said the Chinese were interested in U.S. secrets about North Korea. 






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