A Canadian naval engineer was arrested on Nov. 30 for allegedly trying to sell classified information on Canada’s navy to Chinese authorities.
Qing Quentin Huang, a 53-year-old man from Toronto, is being charged under the Canadian Security of Information Act. He faces two counts of attempting to communicate classified information to a foreign entity.
Canadian authorities were tipped off on Nov. 28 that Huang was “taking steps to pass sensitive information to authorities from the People’s Republic of China,” according to a press release from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). They started a criminal investigation, which they dubbed “Project Seascape,” and arrested Huang two days later.
“In these types of cases, sharing of information may give a foreign entity a tactical, military or competitive advantage by knowing the specifications of vessels responsible for defending Canadian waters and Canadian sovereignty,” said RCMP Chief Superintendent Jennifer Strachan, the Criminal Operations Officer for the Province of Ontario, in the press release.
The information Huang was allegedly trying to sell is related to the Government of Canada National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. It includes information on Canadian patrol ships, frigates, naval auxiliary vessels, science research vessels, and ice breakers.
“It is important to understand that there is more to National Security than focusing solely on terrorism,” said RCMP Chief Superintendent Larry Tremblay in the press release. ” It’s about protecting Canadian interests and taking the steps we need to take to protect our sovereignty.”
The arrest was announced by the RCMP, the Toronto Police Service, and the Ontario Provincial Police on Dec. 1. Canadian media reported that Huang faces life in prison, and it is believed his actions were not state-sponsored.