Monday, November 28, 2022

Bitcoin Bribe: Chinese Intelligence Officers Allegedly Attempt to Sabotage Investigation

A United States law enforcement official has pointed accusing fingers at two Chinese intelligence officers for offering to pay a Bitcoin bribe in an active investigation. This is according to a Monday press release and open evidence by the Department of Justice (DoJ). 

The Chinese men, named Guochun He and Zheng Wang reportedly tried to pay a total of $61,000 in Bitcoin (BTC) to a US official, to retrieve information about an ongoing prosecution against an unidentified firm.

But even more than the mere knowledge of the direction in which the prosecution is headed, the duo were also reportedly hoping to influence the investigation as a whole.

Law Enforcement Increasingly Worried About Chinese Government Workers

Speaking about the latest allegations, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has likened the situation to other prosecutions that recently took place in New York and New Jersey. Garland believes there is a trend and an obvious rise in the number of similar cases. That is, cases where individuals working for the Chinese government are being accused of various forms of harassment and continuous violation of international laws.

Speaking at a press conference, Garland repeatedly mentioned the resolve of the DoJ to curb the excesses of foreign powers such as China. He said in part:

“The Justice Department will not tolerate attempts by any foreign power to undermine the rule of law upon which our democracy is based.”

Huawei Technologies Linked to Bitcoin Bribe

Interestingly, however, there might be reasons to believe that the unidentified firm for which the accused duo were lobbying, is Chinese-based Huawei Technologies. The multinational tech company was linked to one of the transactions revealed in the evidence shared earlier. According to the evidence, the $61,000 payment was made in two instalments of $20,000 and $41,000. But one of those transactions was meant for a classified document that would help Huawei’s case.

Nonetheless, the filing confirms that the U.S. official that was approached did not share any such classified materials. 

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