According to a human rights monitoring organization, the Chinese government has constructed “overseas police service stations” to monitor its nationals living abroad, including one in New York City and three in Toronto. The “110 abroad stations,” according to Safeguard Defenders’ report published last month, are employed to support the Chinese Communist Party by “breaking down on all forms of unlawful and criminal actions involving overseas Chinese.”
The study states that fraud and telecommunications fraud are the primary illegal acts that the CCP surrogates keep an eye on. It continues by stating that between April 2021 and July 2022, Chinese officials said that 230,000 Chinese citizens had been “persuaded to return” to China in order to face legal repercussions for their deeds.
Usually, to guarantee a citizen returns, the criminal target’s family is intimidated and imprisoned, or the target is threatened by CCP proxies online or in person to “voluntarily” return.
According to the study, China’s United Front groups have utilized the stations to control activities of the Chinese diaspora, despite the fact that they were partially formed in different nations to perform administrative tasks like renewing driver’s licenses.
For instance, the report claims that owing to the high prevalence of fraud there, Cambodia is one of the nine nations that the CCP forbids Chinese people from residing in. Authorities reportedly approached a Chinese lady who owned a restaurant in Cambodia in March and asked her to go back to China. The woman claimed that she was only conducting business in the nation and wasn’t engaging in any fraud.
Chinese authorities then forewarned her in May that if she didn’t return, they would add her on a list of telecom suspects and shut off the water and electricity to her mother’s house. Later, the words “House of Telecom Fraud” were spray-painted on her mother’s house.
The article also cites news stories from Chinese media claiming that other fraud suspects had their families’ homes vandalized with degrading comments and had their electricity turned off.
The methods “deprive [Chinese nationals] of the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty and the right to a fair trial, and also impose a far-reaching ‘guilt by association’ paradigm,” the study claims.
With the implementation of China’s Anti-Telecom and Online Fraud Law in December, the CCP will have more power to investigate and prosecute cases of fraud committed by Chinese nationals abroad. According to the report, there are 54 stations overall, spread over 30 nations and five continents, with the majority located in Europe.
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