Man Accused of Trying to Send Naval Secrets to China Appears in Court

December 4, 2013 Updated: December 4, 2013

TORONTO—A bail hearing for a Canadian naval engineer accused of trying to send classified information on Canada’s shipbuilding strategy to China has been postponed.

Qing Quentin Huang, 53, from Waterdown, Ont., appeared in a Toronto courtroom Wednesday, wearing a black shearling jacket over a blue button-down shirt.

Huang, from Waterdown, Ont., was arrested in nearby Burlington on Saturday, just two days after the RCMP said they became aware of the allegations against him.

The RCMP said they learned on Thursday that Huang was allegedly taking steps to pass on classified information to China relating to Canada’s national shipbuilding strategy.

Huang is a Canadian citizen and an employee of Lloyd’s Register, a subcontractor to Irving Shipbuilding Inc., the RCMP said Sunday at a news conference to announce the arrest.

“These are documents of a confidential and sensitive nature to the government of Canada that relate to their vessels that support our marine services in relation to sovereignty here in Canada,” said Chief Supt. Jennifer Strachan.

A LinkedIn profile lists a Quentin Huang as a naval engineer at Lloyd’s Register.

The national shipbuilding strategy includes patrol ships, frigates, naval auxiliary vessels, science research vessels and ice breakers, Strachan said.

“In these types of cases sharing of information may given a foreign entity a tactical, military or competitive advantage by knowing the specifications of vessels responsible for defending Canadian waters and Canadian sovereignty. Having access to the products of very valuable and costly research and development may also provide unfair competitive and economic advantage.”

Huang is charged under the Security of Information Act with two counts of attempting to communicate classified information to a foreign entity. He is being held in custody pending a bail hearing Wednesday in Toronto, the RCMP said.

His lawyer, John Lee, would not comment on how his client is faring or whether he plans to fight the charges.

The commander of the Royal Canadian Navy says he’s been assured the secrets of the military’s planned Arctic patrol ships have not fallen into the wrong hands, and the yard at the centre of the latest spy case is taking appropriate precautions with top-secret information.

The vote of confidence from Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, in an interview with The Canadian Press, comes as questions linger about precisely what data Huang, 53, might have been offering to the government of China.

With files from The Canadian Press