Public utility worker nabbed in Canada for ‘spying for China’

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According to the police, Wang is accused of obtaining trade secrets, unauthorised use of a computer, breach of trust by a public officer and fraud for obtaining trade secrets…reports Asian Lite News

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have arrested a public utility worker for “spying for China”, the media reported.

According to the RCMP, this is the first time in Canada that someone has been charged with obtaining trade secrets, an offence under section 19 of the Security of Information Act.

In a statement, the police force said that Yuesheng Wang, employed at the Montreal-based Hydro-Quebec public utility corporation, was arrested on Monday and charged with espionage, the BBC reported.

The 35-year-old “obtained trade secrets to benefit the People’s Republic of China, to the detriment of Canada’s economic interests”, the RCMP statement added.

He is due to appear at a court in Longueuil, Quebec, on Tuesday to face four criminal charges — obtaining trade secrets, unauthorized use of a computer, fraud for obtaining trade secrets, and breach of trust by a public officer, CTV reported.

“Foreign actor interference is a priority for many law enforcement and intelligence agencies around the world. Hydro-Quebec is considered a critical infrastructure and a strategic interest to be protected,” the RCMP added.

According to the police, Wang is accused of obtaining trade secrets, unauthorised use of a computer, breach of trust by a public officer and fraud for obtaining trade secrets.

The crimes allegedly occurred between February 2018 and October 2022.

Hydro-Quebec confirmed the accused had been an employee since 2016 and worked as a researcher on battery materials with the company’s Center of Excellence in Transportation Electrification and Energy Storage (CETEES) in the off-island Montreal suburb of Varennes.

Hydro Quebec spokesperson Caroline Des Rosiers told CTV that Wang’s access to the company’s systems was “completely cut off as soon as we got wind of the first allegations”.

The RCMP said it started to investigate Wang last August this year.

“This investigation is of great importance for us and sends a clear message,” CTV quoted RCMP Inspector David Beaudoin at a news conference on Monday.

“It demonstrates our commitment and that of our partners to work with at-risk sectors.”

Beaudoin declined to say whether Wang was paid by China for his alleged actions and did not confirm whether he is a Canadian citizen.

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