Chinese-born US Navy officer with TS clearance arrested smuggling US weapons to China

A US Navy officer of Chinese origin has been busted for multiple federal charges, ranging from firearms law infractions to attempting to smuggle military-grade boats to Chinese government interests.

Lieutenant Fan Yang, a Chinese-born US Navy Sailor who held a top secret clearance and worked with an Anti-Submarine Warfare unit in Jacksonville, Florida, was arrested following a raid on his home on October 17, along with his wife, Yang Yang.

Yang had illegally “straw-purchased” a firearm for Chinese national Ge Songtao, who had a temporary visa in the US. In addition to straw purchasing a firearm for Ge, Yang also arranged to work with the foreigner to set up a “firearms tourism” business for Chinese tourists visiting the United States, allowing citizens from the communist country to shoot at ranges during their visit.

While the “firearms tourism” industry is a rather successful and generally legal venture in Florida, it was Yang’s insistence that he had no ties to foreign interests that landed him in hot water. Setting up a company in 2015, he received hundreds of thousands of dollars from companies that Ge was connected to.

During his security clearance renewal process, Yang claimed he had no contacts with foreign nationals or foreign financial interests.

According to NewsJax, Yang also participated in the attempted purchase of military-grade inflatable boats, flash drives and other equipment slated for use by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture’s fisheries bureau.

Yang, his wife, Ge, and Xheng Yan, all face charges of violating export regulations, with Ge and Yang listed as co-conspirators.

Approximately 10 of the vessels were sent to Ge’s company, Shanghai Breeze Technology. Mrs. Yang, who helped facilitate the deal, knew the items were considered “sensitive” due to their ties with the US Navy, and would be subject to export restrictions.

The Yang family could face decades in prison on firearms charges alone, not including the potential prison sentencing for the export and falsification charges.

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