It’s the stuff of nightmares: a Chinese-born United States Navy officer with access to top secret material is busted sending military-grade equipment and flash drives to his communist homeland.
Unfortunately for our national security, this is exactly why the FBI says it arrested Lt. Fan Yang earlier this month.
Yang, who was born in China before immigrating to America and eventually becoming a Navy officer, is accused of smuggling boats, flash drives and other equipment to his native land, Navy Times reports.
In addition to those charges, Yang is alleged to have sold a firearm to a Chinese national. Yang’s wife, Yang “Yuki” Yang, was also arrested for her alleged role in the crimes.
Although these charges alone would be shocking, Yang’s position in the Navy makes them even more worrying.
Assigned to the Naval Air Station Jacksonville’s Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Weapons School, Yang likely had privileged access to top secret anti-submarine materials.
Through a series of shell companies, Yang allegedly shipped flash drives which may have contained extremely sensitive information to China and was paid for his shady work through these same businesses.
“The illegal exportation of sensitive technology to prohibited entities poses a clear, significant threat to our national security,” Rachel L. Rojas, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Jacksonville division, told the Navy Times.
According to WJXT, Yang also used the string of companies to ship boats to the Chinese government.
Yang’s firearms charges stem from the officer’s alleged straw purchase of a pistol for a Chinese national engaged in the boat smuggling scheme with him.
If these allegations are true, it wouldn’t be the first time China has sought to gain from apparent loyalists taking advantage of America’s open and welcoming atmosphere.
Industrial espionage is nothing new for the country seeking to rob America of its manufacturing secrets, and the communist regime allegedly has employed students studying abroad in the U.S. to spy on military installations.
If the country had an inside man in the U.S. Navy, especially one with a top secret clearance, there’s no telling how much information they had access to.
China’s race to build an anti-American defense web on its coast would benefit greatly from secrets leaked by a Navy officer.
In a potential future conflict, any information handed over to the Chinese by Yang could cost countless American lives.
While Yang is innocent until proven guilty, the FBI and NCIS appear to be fairly certain they have unraveled the officer’s tangled web. Hopefully this busts another Chinese spy and keeps the communist regime’s hands off our military secrets.
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