Alleged Spies on Uyghur Community house-searched in Munich

Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt, BKA) has searched the flats of four persons in Munich who are believed to work as intelligence agents for the Chinese government. They are suspected of having spied on the German Uyghur community, by order of the Chinese Consulate General in Munich. The World Uyghur Congress was formed in mid-April 2004 in the Bavarian capital. Several hundred Uyghurs live in Munich, and many of them are politically active. The wording of Der Spiegel’s report seems to suggest that all four suspects are Chinese nationals.

According to Der Spiegel (who first reported the story today), the spy activities were closely coordinated with Beijing, and the Chinese government closely monitors the steps of the German authorities, which have taken a much more robust approach since the Federal Attorney had started consolidating all information concerning alleged Chinese spy cases all over the country. Diplomats had left Germany before, after reportedly having been caught in spy activities, but there hadn’t been house searches or arrests in Germany in connection with alleged Chinese spy cases before.

No arrests have been reported.

The suspects apparently enjoy no diplomatic immunity.

German-Chinese Diplomacy: No Business as Usual, July 17, 2009

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