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Charges filed against members of China's 'Operation Fox Hunt' repatriation squad, DOJ says

In one instance, Fox Hunt agents allegedly offered a target two options: return to China promptly or commit suicide.

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FBI seal in DC headquarters in 2007
FBI seal in DC headquarters in 2007
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Image)
Updated: October 28, 2020 - 11:52am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The U.S. has charged eight defendants who allegedly conspired to act as a repatriation squad for Beijing's "Operation Fox Hunt," to force expatriate citizens to return to China, the Justice Department announced. Five of the defendants were arrested this morning, while three remain at large overseas.

Justice Department officials announced the charges during a Wednesday press conference that included FBI Director Chris Wray and Assistant Attorney General John Demers.

"With today’s charges, we have turned the PRC’s Operation Fox Hunt on its head — the hunters became the hunted, the pursuers the pursued," Demers said. "The five defendants the FBI arrested this morning on these charges of illegally doing the bidding of the Chinese government here in the United States now face the prospect of prison."

The defendants launched a campaign to "threaten, harass, surveil and intimidate" targets, according to the complaint. 

In one instance, Fox Hunt agents allegedly offered a target two options: return to China promptly or commit suicide.

"For those charged in China and others engaged in this type of conduct," Demers said, "our message is clear: stay out."

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