New Telegraph

Ex-CIA Officer Accused Of Spying For China Pleads Guilty

A former agent of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Alexander Yuk Ching Ma who was arrested has pleaded guilty to spying for China, Saturday Telegraph reports.

This was contained in a press statement issued by the United States Department of Justice on Friday, May 24.

According to the report, the 71-year-old who became a naturalized US citizen admitted to having provided “a large volume of classified US national defence information” to Chinese authorities in 2001.

Yuk Ching Ma, a native of Hong Kong said that even though he hadn’t been employed by the CIA for 12 years, he has been dishing out sensitive information to Chinese authorities.

The Justice Department statement said Ma’s meeting with representatives of the Shanghai State Security Bureau was initiated by another former CIA agent, Ma’s blood relative who was born in Shanghai and who also became a naturalized American, identified in the agency’s statement as “co-conspirator #1”.

At the end of the third day of the meeting in a Hong Kong hotel, Chinese “intelligence officers provided CC #1 with $50,000 in cash, which Ma counted,” the statement said.

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“Ma and CC #1 also agreed at that time to continue to assist” Chinese intelligence.

In 2003, Ma was hired as a linguist by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Hawaii “as part of an investigative plan, to work at an off-site location where his activities could be monitored” and his contacts with China could be probed.

In 2006, Ma “convinced CC #1 to provide the identities of at least two individuals depicted in photographs that were provided to Ma” by Chinese intelligence.

Ma confessed that the information given as well as what he provided in 2001 “would be used to injure the United States or to benefit” Chinese authorities.

Ma worked for the FBI until 2012, and it was unclear from the statement how he was unmasked.

If accepted by the courts, the guilty plea agreement, which ensures that Ma would cooperate with US authorities, provides for a 10-year prison sentence for him which could be handed down on September 11.

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