Former CIA officer charged with spying for China: US Justice Department

A former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer have been arrested by the United States’ prosecutors for allegedly spying for the Chinese government.
“Alexander Yuk Ching Ma, 67, a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer, was arrested on Aug. 14, 2020, on a charge that he conspired with a relative of his who also was a former CIA officer to communicate classified information up to the Top Secret level to intelligence officials of the People’s Republic of China (PRC),” the Justice Department said in a press release.
The release said 12 years after Ma retired in 1989, he and his relative met with at least five officers of China’s Ministry of State Security in Hong Kong, where they disclosed highly classified national defence information. “There is a part of the meeting captured on video, with a portion showing Ma receiving and counting $50,000”, the release said.
“Ma gave the Chinese officers the identities of CIA officers and human assets, the agency’s methods for communicating covertly and other information about the CIA’s internal organization”, the release added.
Moreover, in 2004 Ma began to work as a Chinese linguist in the FBI’s field office in Honolulu, Hawaii, and used his security clearance to copy or photograph classified documents about guided missile and weapons systems, among other classified information that he provided to Chinese officials, the report said adding that Ma faces a maximum of life in prison if convicted.
This is the latest arrest in a string of cases against former intelligence officers.
In November 2019, another former CIA officer, Jerry Chun Shing Lee, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for conspiring to spy for China.
The information shared by Lee is said to have helped China to bring down a network of informants between 2010 and 2012. About 20 informants were killed or jailed during that period in one of the most disastrous failures of US intelligence in recent years.