London Magistrates Face Espionage Allegations Linked to Hong Kong Intelligence

  • by:
  • Source: ABC News
  • 05/13/2024
Three individuals have appeared before London magistrates on allegations that they were spying for the Hong Kong intelligence agency in the United Kingdom.

During a short appearance before Westminster Magistrates' Court on Monday morning, Matthew Trickett, 37, Chi Leung Wai, 38, and Chung Biu Yuen, 63, spoke merely to confirm their identity.

Following an investigation by the Metropolitan Police's counterterrorism department that resulted in the arrest of 11 persons earlier this month, the charges—under the new National Security Act—follow.

According to the allegations, Mr. Trickett, Mr. Wai, and Mr. Yuen "agreed to undertake information gathering, surveillance and acts of deception that were likely to materially assist a foreign intelligence service" between December 20, 2023, and May 2, 2024.

Additionally, they are charged with breaking and entering a residential residence in the United Kingdom on May 1st while "being reckless as to whether the prohibited conduct, or course of conduct of which it forms part, would have an interference effect."

According to the Met, on May 1 in Yorkshire, counterterrorism police detained eight males and one woman. The next day, two men were seized in London and a ninth guy was taken into custody in Yorkshire.

Two police stations, one in central London and the other in the West Midlands, conducted interviews with all eleven of them.

On Friday, the lady was liberated and seven of the males were released without being charged.

The head of counterterrorism command, Commander Dominic Murphy, made a statement to the Met on Monday morning, emphasizing that the operation had nothing to do with a recent inquiry that had connections to Russia and resulted in the arrest and charging of five individuals.

Mr. Murphy said, "The foreign intelligence service to which the above charges relate is that of Hong Kong," referring to Mr. Trickett, Mr. Wai, and Mr. Yuen.

"We have worked closely with the Crown Prosecution Service from the outset of the inquiry," he said, adding that "although being directed from London, the counterterrorism police network has been important to thwarting this activity.”

"Although these offenses are alarming, I would like to reassure the public that we do not think there is a larger threat against them." Mr. Murphy said, "Although this investigation is still ongoing, I ask people not to speculate or comment on this case any further now that charges have been brought."

Along with Mr. Trickett and Mr. Yuen, Mr. Wai, also known as Peter Wai, made an appearance in the dock with a glass front on Monday.

As was the case with Mr. Trickett of Maidenhead, Berkshire, Mr. Yuen of east London's Hackney, and Mr. Wai of Staines-upon-Thames, near London, all three received conditional bail.

District Judge Louisa Cieciora informed them that the terms of their bail included an internet-accessible device reporting requirement, a curfew of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., a prohibition on traveling abroad, and an obligation to report to their local police stations once a week.

They will appear before the Old Bailey for an administrative hearing on May 24, the day she delayed the case.

They have not yet filed a plea to the accusations, and it is quite likely that their trial will not happen until the spring of 2025.


Get latest news delivered daily!

We will send you breaking news right to your inbox

© 2024 Wayne Dupree, Privacy Policy