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Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Chinese national’s arrest in Malda: Agencies probe larger conspiracy

The 36-year-old Chinese national, who has been identified by his passport as Hun Junwei, was found carrying an Indian Aadhaar card, a bank ATM.

Written by Sweety Kumari | Kolkata |
Updated: June 23, 2021 7:21:49 am
Hun Junwei was held near Bangladesh border. He was carrying an Aadhaar card.

More than a week after a Chinese national was caught by the Border Security Force (BSF) near an outpost close to the Bangladesh border in Malda, investigating agencies are now looking into a larger conspiracy surrounding him and involving more Chinese and Indian nationals.

The Chinese national, who has been identified by his passport as Hun Junwei, was found carrying an Indian Aadhaar card, a bank ATM.

In a video released by the BSF, Hun Junwei claimed that he was involved in export business, e-commerce and hotel, and that he had visited India “several times for business and market research”.

He and his associates also allegedly smuggled over 1,300 Indian SIM cards to China.

“I reached Bangladesh border on June 2, and I came to Bangladesh border. I crossed a river and by mistake, entered India and was arrested… I just crossed Bangladesh as I wanted to surrender to ATS Lucknow,” Junwei is heard speaking in the video released by the BSF.

He was arrested on June 10.

According to sources, when he was being chased by BSF officials, Junwei threw away some documents. “The documents were collected three days after his arrest. These documents were the one on which he claimed to be an Indian citizen,” an investigating official said.

Meanwhile, BSF said that they suspect him to be involved in some security issue.

“Three days after he was arrested, we found Telangana ID card, Aadhaar card and bank account details, an ATM card of a nationalised branch of Telangana. On all these documents Junwei claimed to be an Indian Citizen. During initial interrogation, he had said that he was in India for “business purpose”. We suspected him to be involved in cyber fraud cases. But now it seems to be more involved in security issue than cyber fraud,” SS Guleria, DIG BSF (South Bengal Frontier) told The Indian Express.

A laptop and two iPhones were also in his possession.

The Special Task Force of West Bengal Police is currently interrogating him. The officials are examining the equipment seized from his possession and are trying to also crack the password of his laptop which is in the Mandarin language.

“There are also high chances that he was sharing the private database of Indian citizens for cyber fraud in a larger way against government websites, big private companies etc,” said Malda police.

According to the Chinese passport he was carrying, Junwei is a resident of Hubei in central China whose provincial capital is Wuhan. According to investigating officials, they have so far have been to piece together his journey. According to them, Junwei reached Dhaka in Bangladesh on June 2 on a business visa and stayed there with a Chinese friend. On June 8, he came to Sona Masjid in Chapainawabganj district of Bangladesh and stayed in a hotel there. On June 10, he was trying to enter the Indian territory, when he was caught by the BSF troops.

According to BSF officials and West Bengal Police, they have found several variations in his statement. Quite fluent in English, Junwei was carrying two visas, one of Bangladesh and another one of Nepal — both the nations shares border with India. “He preferred Bangladesh as he was informed that it was easy to enter Bengal via Bangladesh as India- Bangladesh border that falls in Bengal is more porous,” said an official.

His Chinese passport is also new and has only one stamp (that of Bangladesh). However, based on the information provided by the Immigration Department, Junwei had visited India several times before and the passport he was carrying was issued to him recently, said sources.

“His purpose of visit to India isn’t clear yet and it is important to investigate his real motive,” said a senior BSF official.

Apart from the National Investigating Agency (NIA), Junwei has also been questioned by Lucknow Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) in connection with a financial fraud case.

“He is the mastermind in a financial fraud case linked to e-currency, e-wallets etc. He has planted his agents in UP, Bengal and other places for procuring database and pre-active SIMs. He is definitely a threat to national security. However, this is not the focus of the specific case that we were investigating. Once he is brought to Lucknow, he will be questioned on a different case,” G K Goswami, IG (Lucknow ATS) told the Indian Express without revealing further.

Goswami said that they have arrested 19 people, including three Chinese nationals in connection with the other case. “Our team had gone there (Malda) and interrogated him. Now, Bengal STF is questioning him. Once their questioning is over, we will seek his custody and bring him to UP for interrogation,” the IG (Lucknow ATS) added.

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