Two US Navy SEALs have been arrested for allegedly transporting sensitive national security materials to China, US officials said on Thursday.
The US officials added that Sergeant Wen Hing Chau, 26, is accused of conspiracy and taking a bribe of about $15,000 in exchange for photos and videos containing sensitive US military information.
US Navy SEAL Jin Zhaowei, whose age hasn’t been disclosed, is accused of conspiring to send national defense information to China in exchange for thousands of dollars.
It was because of the two men’s actions that “sensitive military information ultimately fell into the hands of the People’s Republic of China,” Assistant Attorney General Matt Olsen told reporters in San Diego.
US officials said Sergeant Wen Hing Chau accused of passing on to his Chinese supervisor plans for US military exercises in the Indo-Pacific region, drawings and schematics of the radar system at a US military base in Okinawa, Japan, and security data for US Navy facilities in Ventura County and San Clemente Island outside Los Angeles.
As for the US Navy SEAL Jin Zhaowei, he was accused of disclosing information about the Essex, an amphibious assault ship he was serving on, as well as other US warships.
The information included dozens of technical manuals on the Essex’s weapons, command structure and operations.
It wasn’t immediately possible to obtain contact information for both US soldiers.
US officials denounced the Chinese spying campaign at Thursday’s news conference.
The Chinese embassy in Washington hasn’t yet responded to a request for comment.