News you may have missed #709

Famagusta portBy IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
►►North Korea defector sentenced for assassination plot. The man, only identified by the Seoul Central District Court by his surname, Ahn, was sentenced on Thursday after being found guilty of plotting to kill Park Sang-hak, a leading anti-North Korea activist, last September. When apprehended, Ahn —a former member of the North’s special forces— was carrying a black torch that was actually a gun capable of firing a projectile around 30 feet and a bullet coated with a poisonous chemical. Another weapon that he was carrying was disguised as a fountain pen that could fire a bladed projectile, while a second ballpoint pen concealed a poison-tipped needle.
►►Russian arrested in Cyprus for alleged espionage. Media in the Turkish-controlled part of Cyprus are reporting an alleged “espionage incident” at the port of Famagusta. The incident concerns a crewmember of the Russian cargo ship Natali 1, which is docked there. Police authorities say they arrested the Russian national, identified as Nanec Hikov, after he was caught taking photos of Turkish warships. Photographing or filming in the port area is strictly forbidden by Turkish occupation authorities. The Russian Embassy has been informed and the sailor remains in custody.
►►Mystery deepens over death of UK intel expert in China. Last week, the British Foreign Office confirmed that it had asked China to open a fresh ivestigation into the November 14 death of British businessman and intelligence specialist Neil Heywood . The Foreign Office said other businessmen in Beijing had suggested there may have been foul play. Diplomatic sources suggested that the Foreign Office had acted on information given by Wang Lijun, the former police chief of Chongqing, where Heywood died, to the United States consulate in Chengdu, in February.

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Has China’s most famous police official defected to the United States?

Wang LijunBy IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
There are rumors that China’s most famous law enforcement official may have tried to defect to the United States, after Chinese police surrounded a US consulate in Southwest China. Three years ago, Wang Lijun, the chief of police in Chongqing, a city of nearly 30 million inhabitants, launched an extensive campaign aimed at dismantling southwestern China’s criminal networks. Among his targets were the notorious Triad gangs, as well as China’s extensive drugs, human, and consumer goods smuggling networks. Since that time, he has conducted nearly 1,100 arrests, helped convict several organized syndicate bosses to death, and overseen an anti-corruption program that led to the removal or arrest of several Chongqing police officials. Media sources in China report that Wang, who has become a popular icon of anti-corruption campaigners in China, has been targeted in numerous knife and sniper attacks, one of which left him in a coma for over a week. But the 52-year-old police official has survived thanks to the support of the Chinese government and Chongqing’s Communist Party secretary, Bo Xilai, who in 2011 appointed Wang to the position of vice-mayor. All this changed last week, however, when Bo’s office abruptly issued a brief statement saying that Want had been demoted to a local government post outside the law enforcement chain of command. On the following day, it emerged that a group of investigators from the Communist Party of China’s Central Disciplinary Commission had been dispatched to Chongqing to check on Wang’s activities. And on Wednesday, another cryptic message from the Chinese government stated that Wang had accepted “vacation-style treatment […] because of long-term overwork”, which had left him “highly stressed and in poor health”. Read more of this post