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[Published: Tuesday June 05 2018]

 US arrests man for trying to spy for China


WASHINGTON 5 Jun (ANA) - A former US intelligence officer has appeared in court in Seattle charged with attempting to spy for China.

Ron Rockwell Hansen, 58, was arrested by the FBI on Saturday on his way to a Seattle airport for a flight to China.

The justice department says Mr Hansen attempted to pass on information and received at least $ 800,000 (£ 600,000) for acting as a Chinese agent.

He agreed in a brief court appearance to be returned to his home state of Utah to face charges.

Mr Hansen, who lives in Syracuse, Utah, was charged with attempting to gather or deliver national defence information to aid a foreign government.

Other charges - there are 15 in total - include acting as an unregistered foreign agent for China, bulk cash smuggling, structuring monetary transactions and smuggling goods from the US.

If convicted of attempted espionage, Mr Hansen faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Assistant Attorney General John Demers called Mr Hansen's alleged actions "a betrayal of our nation's security" and an "affront to his former intelligence community colleagues".

John Huber, US attorney for the state of Utah, called the allegations "very troubling". (ANA)
FA/ANA/5 June 2018-----

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