A New York City police officer and Williston Park resident accused of supplying Chinese officials with information on Tibetans living in the United States has had his case dropped after federal prosecutors asked a judge to dismiss an indictment against him.
Baimadajie Angwang, a 36-year-old Tibetan native who now lives in Nassau County, was charged in September 2020 with acting as an illegal agent of the People’s Republic of China, committing wire fraud, making false statements and obstructing an official proceeding, according to the criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District.
Angwang had been out on $2 million bond since February 2021 after spending four months at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
Court documents showed that Angwang told his official handler from China that he wanted to get promoted by the NYPD so he could bring “glory to China.” Angwang faced up to 55 years in jail if found guilty.
Angwang’s lawyer, John Carman, accused the prosecutors of using the Classified Information Procedures Act to avoid explaining the reason for dropping the case.
“The truth is that they are hiding behind CIPA in an effort to give the impression that this was a legitimate prosecution, which it was not,” Carman told the New York Post. “Mr. Angwang is a great American who served his country in combat in Afghanistan and our government repaid him by treating him like he was the leader of the Taliban.”
FBI Special Agent Steven Deck outlined Angwang’s alleged actions in the criminal complaint that was unsealed in September 2020 in federal court in Brooklyn.
Deck said Angwang had “maintained a relationship” with at least two Chinese consulates since approximately 2018, according to court documents.
One of the consulates, Deck said, was believed to be assigned to a subdivision of China’s United Front Work Department, responsible for “neutralizing sources of potential opposition to the policies and authority of the [People’s Republic of China].”
Tibet is an autonomous region in China, historically home to ethnic Tibetans and the spiritual home of Tibetan Buddhism. Since 1951, when China occupied Tibet, a Tibetan independence movement for political separation from China has been present throughout the region, according to the documents.
Thousands of ethnic Tibetans were believed to have been killed during periods of martial law and repression under Chinese occupation, according to the documents.
Angwang was assigned to the 111th Precinct in northeast Queens and served as a patrol officer and a member of the Bayside precinct’s crime prevention team. He was also a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve stationed in Fort Dix, N.J.
Angwang allegedly used his position in the Police Department to provide the Chinese consulates access to senior police officials through invitations to official NYPD events, according to the criminal complaint.