German Public Prosecutor General Peter Frank is investigating a former EU official from Germany and two employees of a major lobbying firm on suspicion of spying for China, the Spiegel newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing information at its disposal.
Two of the suspects reportedly passed private and official information to the Chinese Ministry of State Security, while the other one only expressed readiness to do so.
At the request of the federal prosecutor’s office, police, since morning, have been conducting searches at nine sites in Berlin, Brussels, as well as the German states of Baden-Wurttemberg and Bavaria. The raids are underway in homes and offices of the suspects.
The investigation, according to the German newspaper, centers around an ex-European Commission official, who also served in the European External Action Service.
The man, in particular, used to serve as EU ambassador in several countries. In 2017, he finished his career and started working for a lobbying company.
The same year, investigators believe, he began transferring certain information to China and recruited two of his colleagues, one of them even went to China for a meeting. The lobbying firm in question reportedly used to consult leading German companies.