Ex-CIA Official charged with spying for China

Ex-CIA Official charged with spying for China

WASHINGTON: US prosecutors have charged a former Central intelligence Agency (CIA) officer with spying for the Chinese government, reported Sputnik news agency, quoting the Justice Department.

“Alexander Yuk Ching Ma, 67, a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer, was arrested on Aug. 14, 2020, on a charge that he conspired with a relative of his who also was a former CIA officer to communicate classified information up to the Top Secret level to intelligence officials of the People’s Republic of China (PRC),” the department said in a press release on Monday.

The release said 12 years after Ma retired in 1989, he and his relative met with at least five officers of China’s Ministry of State Security in Hong Kong, where they disclosed highly classified national defence information.

The release said there is a part of the meeting captured on video, with a portion showing Ma receiving and counting US$50,000.

Ma gave the Chinese officers the identities of CIA officers and human assets, the agency’s methods for communicating covertly and other information about CIA’s internal organisation, the release said.

Moreover, in 2004 Ma began to work as a Chinese linguist in the FBI’s field office in Honolulu, Hawaii, and used his security clearance to copy or photograph classified documents about guided missile and weapons systems, among other classified information that he provided to Chinese officials, the report added.

Ma faces a maximum of life in prison if convicted, the release said.

–BERNAMA