China set up a secret police station in Australia


China has set up dozens of police stations around the world, including one in Australia, with a human rights group claiming they’re using them to hunt down and retrieve dissidents. 

A new report from Safeguard Defenders, a human rights watchdog, revealed that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has at least 54 ‘overseas police service stations’ in 30 different countries.  

Chinese authorities say the stations provide services to citizens, such as renewing national identification cards, passports and drivers licences, by using facial recognition technology. (Pictured a Chinese officer on duty in Beijing)

Safeguard Defenders, a human rights watchdog, reported that the police stations have been used to intimated Chinese nationals to return home

Safeguard Defenders, a human rights watchdog, reported that the police stations have been used to intimated Chinese nationals to return home 

The Chinese police operation in Sydney was established by the communist party’s Department of Public security in 2018, the ABC reports. 

An establishment ceremony for the station was covered by the Chinese press, but it flew under the radar in Australia.

Although the CCP claims the stations are meant to keep an eye on ‘fraud’ and provide services to citizens, such as renewing national identification cards, passports and drivers licences, by using facial recognition technology, a human rights group alleges that China has been using the program to track down dissidents and intimate them to return to their native country.

Laura Harth, campaign director for Safeguard Defenders, which released the new report, said people who oppose the Communist regime could be at risk, and their families too.

Spanish-based human rights agency Safeguard Defenders says Chinese 'contact points' also house Chinese police operations. Its campaign director, Laura Harth said people who have fled China - and their families - could be at risk

Spanish-based human rights agency Safeguard Defenders says Chinese ‘contact points’ also house Chinese police operations. Its campaign director, Laura Harth said people who have fled China – and their families – could be at risk

She told the ABC that the Sydney ‘contact point’ was similar to China’s overseas police stations in other countries.

‘Every country is using different names … it seems that they use an already existing framework of United Front Work organisations around the world to build this extra functionality,’ Ms Harth said.

‘For Australian people, I would say, especially for overseas Chinese people that have fled China — dissidents, ethnic and religious minorities — obviously these organisations can be used, potentially, to go after them or to go after their families.’

In January Safeguard Defenders claimed at least eight Australian residents were involuntarily returned to China by the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to face prosecution for alleged ‘economic crimes’. 

In the report, the nonprofit detailed cases where the family have wanted citizens used to ask their loved one to come back to China.

Safeguard Defenders said it served as a threat from the CCP that if the citizen didn’t return, something would be done to their family.

Pictured: Chinese officials operating inside their police station in New York City. It is one of at least 54 active around the world, and the only known to be operating in the US

Pictured: Chinese officials operating inside their police station in New York City. It is one of at least 54 active around the world, and the only known to be operating in the US

New York's secret police station is above a ramen shop located on East Broadway between Chinatown and the Lower East Side and was opened on February 15

New York’s secret police station is above a ramen shop located on East Broadway between Chinatown and the Lower East Side and was opened on February 15

‘Nothing seems to be too impressive or too harsh,’ Harth said. ‘That’s a clear message to anyone seeking to leave China, or already left China: that you’re not safe anywhere.’

The report warned that China was likely expanding its program around the world.

According to Safeguard Defenders, China already has the stations operating in cities across the world including New York, London, Paris, Toronto, Amsterdam. Madrid and Rome.

It also alleges the program operates outside of existing bilateral agreements on international crime. 

‘These operations eschew official bilateral police and judicial cooperation and violate the international rule of law, and may violate the territorial integrity of third countries involved in setting up a parallel policing mechanism using illegal methods,’ the group’s report said.

Along with the list of police stations, Safeguard Defenders also noted that China has designated nine Asian countries as ‘forbidden’ and issued calls for all nations to return from their immediately.

The countries include Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia.

According to the report, one Chinese restaurant owner based in Cambodia was pushed to return to China after police warned her that her mother’s power would be cut off if she didn’t.

Safeguard Defenders said there have been many reports of police going around ‘fraud’ suspects’ homes and spray-paint ‘shameful fraud’ on them.

Some have been found to help Chinese police conduct ‘persuasion sessions’ remotely, the non-profit said.

A station in Madrid tracked down a man wanted in China for environmental pollution.

He was forced to sit down for a video call with public security agents and a Chinese prosecutor – while a family member was asked to sit next to the authorities in China during the call.

Other examples of blackmail are authorities threatening to cut electricity to the homes of families or restricting access to schools for relatives.

China’s embassy in Canberra and the consulate-general in Sydney refused to comment about the nature of the contact point and the activities conducted here.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk