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Student admits to spying, tricking national security agency

By YANG ZEKUN | | Updated: 2024-06-11 13:57
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The Ministry of State Security announced a case on Tuesday involving a university student who, due to debt issues, engaged in espionage activities and attempted to evade punishment by pretending to report espionage leads to the national security agency in order to gather intelligence about himself.

A post from the ministry's official WeChat account revealed the case, reminded the public not to misuse the official reporting channels provided, and also advised individuals who have committed espionage to surrender promptly instead of attempting to evade legal punishment.

In June 2023, an informant surnamed He called the national security agency and claimed to be a university student who had been approached by a foreign spy agency asking him to provide "official documents", which he adamantly refused.

However, the informant further claimed that, to help the national security agency "catch the spy," he had recently contacted the foreign spy agency himself and "tricked" them into giving him tens of thousands of yuan in spy funds. He then called the state security agency's 12339 hotline to report the case.

National security officers promptly met with He and inquired about the details. During the conversation, he was evasive and provided inconsistent answers regarding his claims of being contacted by foreign spies and tricking them out of spy funds.

Following an investigation, officers found that He was a university student known for his extravagant spending, which had led to significant debt at a young age. To gain financial benefit and cover his debts, he developed the idea of approaching foreign spy agencies, collecting, and selling state secrets to make money.

The student used a foreign social media platform to establish contact with a foreign spy agency. Under the foreign agency's guidance, he made multiple illegal visits to restricted military zones to take photographs and extract classified information from relevant personnel, receiving tens of thousands of yuan in spy funds over time.

Aware that his actions constituted espionage, He became extremely anxious and fearful. Consequently, he orchestrated a fake report and surrender, hoping to evade legal punishment by providing false information and probing the national security agency's evidence against him.

During the investigation, the national security officers conducted serious criticism and education of He, who later also voluntarily disclosed details of his contacts with foreign spy agencies.

Based on his information, the national security agency uncovered a major espionage case. Due to his proactive and thorough confession and his provision of counter-espionage leads, He was given a lenient punishment in accordance with the law.

The ministry noted that the 12339 hotline, its official WeChat account, and other official reporting channels are the designated means for citizens and organizations to report leads to the national security agency. Those who make malicious reports or create disturbances under the guise of reporting, thereby interfering with the work of national security agencies, will be handled according to the law.

Individuals who have committed espionage should not harbor any illusions about concealing the truth in an effort to evade legal punishment. Those who voluntarily surrender or perform meritorious contributions may receive lighter punishment or exemption from punishment, it said.

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