HONG KONG (Reuters)-
James became more and more uneasy.
Senior Member of the Hong Kong Democratic Party behind him
Behind his gray Volvo car, two silver Mercedes cars kept popping up.
For almost a week, he has had one or the other behind him on his way to and from work every day.
When he arrives at the Legislative Council building, the car in the back will be parked nearby for a few hours.
As his Suspicions hardened, he complained to the police on August 11 and reported the registration numbers of the two Mercedes-Benz cars in his detailed statement.
The next morning, he withdrew from his home in the largely working-class community at North Point on Hong Kong Island to work.
At the bottom of the street outside his building, he glanced in the mirror and saw an unmarked car suddenly driving into the driveway of a silver Mercedes behind him.
Several people came out of the unmarked car.
He was driving all the time thinking the police were quick to intercept his tail. He was right.
He was later informed by police that they had arrested two men and detained two Mercedes vehicles.
What he did not know was that the police inadvertently foiled a surveillance operation in mainland China.
The biggest pro.
Since the 1997 return of democratic protests in Hong Kong, police have entered China's internal security operations by chance to monitor pro-Hong Kong people.
According to two people familiar with the matter, Democrats in Hong Kong.
Reuters has learned that mainland Chinese intelligence has long been suspected of conducting covert operations in Hong Kong, but this has been confirmed for the first time that one of their surveillance teams has been detained.
According to people familiar with the operation, the couple were part of the team watching.
Other teams are assigned to track key people in pro-
They say the democratic movement and criticism of Beijing's rule in Beijing are aimed at revealing the message of compromise.
The two arrested were released shortly without any public announcement.
Police declined to disclose their identity to Reuters.
Retired senior Hong Kong police officers and managers of private security companies say the mainland intelligence service has been recruiting former Hong Kong police officers to assist in political surveillance operations.
Recruiters identify former officials by monitoring training and professionals
Beijing expresses sympathy
They say more than 20 of these retired officials have been assigned to a monitoring team working with mainland agents.
A Mercedes-Benz car reported to the police was registered under the name of a local resident who said he was a Hong Kong civil servant.
The man told Reuters he did not play any role in surveillance.
According to the traffic department of the Hong Kong government, another vehicle shows a license plate that is not registered on any vehicle.
News of the mainland spy operation comes as many Hong Kong residents have been annoyed by China's tightening of controls over Hong Kong.
Fear: Beijing is eroding the whole world.
Since the end of British rule in 1997, they have been bound by individual freedom and independent law enforcement in one country and two institutional models. Pro-
Democratic lawmakers, academics and political activists are concerned that Hong Kong is becoming more and more like a mainland Chinese city, and that domestic security forces have teamed up with police to crack down on dissidents.
They said that in the past 12 months, with the pro of the city
The Democratic Movement began planning a civil disobedience campaign, which has interrupted the Hong Kong central business district for more than two months since the end of September.
For Chinese leaders, the unrest is one of the most serious challenges facing Communist Party rule since the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.
Monitoring of To is just an example of monitoring political opponents in Beijing.
Other members of parliament, political activists, academics and Catholic priests have said they have been monitored or tracked in recent months.
In some cases, they suspect that the purpose of surveillance is to mine materials that may be used to discredit or humiliate them.
He said monitoring was particularly daunting at a time when Beijing struggled to contain the demands of the former British colony for full democratic elections.
"In these difficult times, we don't know what action they will take in extreme situations," he said . ".
"I don't know what their motives are, you know, so it's always threatening behavior.
The Hong Kong Liaison Office, an official representative of Beijing in Hong Kong, did not respond to a Reuters fax.
Spokesman for the chief executive's office-
Britain said it did not comment on individual cases.
The spokesman said: "All people in Hong Kong, whether or not they are Hong Kong residents, must abide by the laws of Hong Kong.
Late last week, Hong Kong police cleared the main protest sites and ended more than 10 weeks of street demonstrations.
Is a member of the Pro
Democratic politicians have been arrested on suspicion of obstructing police and illegal rallies, gathering at the scene for their last revolt.
He was released a few hours later.
A Hong Kong police spokesman confirmed in a written reply to Reuters's question in October that the investigation had begun after the person with the "one surname" was followed up.
"On August 12, two local Chinese men aged 56 and 54 were arrested in North Point," the spokesman said . " They have been released on bail by the police, he added.
The police described the case as suspected wandering, but did not disclose further details of the arrested man and did not answer questions about whether the suspect was a retired police officer in Hong Kong.
In a response to Reuters last week, police said the investigation had been "reduced" due to insufficient evidence ".
Hong Kong law enforcement veterans are valued for their local knowledge and connections.
Legal experts say they are private citizens as retirees, which may mean they can work in gray areas.
In addition, according to foreign diplomats who have followed Hong Kong's political events, if one of these surveillance operations is exposed, the mainland security sector may stay away from any impact.
Because if the former Hong Kong police followed him as part of the mainland, it would be a bitter irony --led operation.
He refers to Chinese officials. "they never trusted Hong Kong people in the past . "
"So, in a sense, they trust Hong Kong people more now.
"The one country, two systems agreement does not explicitly prohibit China's vast security and intelligence agencies from operating in Hong Kong, but, according to local police and the city's laws, it does require any investigation and enforcement action.
These actions are led by a Bureau of China's powerful National Security Department (MSS)
According to security analysts, foreign diplomats and former Western intelligence officials.
MSS collects information about political figures and potential threats from a wide network.
In cooperation with other security departments in China and the Communist Party's United Front Work Department, an organ aimed at spreading the party's influence at home and abroad is active in the 7 cities. 2 million.
China's National Security Department has not sought comment on its only public phone number many times.
China often complains about what it calls foreign interference in its internal affairs.
One sign that the Chinese government is frustrated by the protests in Hong Kong is that Chinese state media articles accused foreigners of inciting demonstrations.
Hong Kong chief executive Liang Zhenying is the leader of the Beijing Special Election
Britain said on October that the protests involved "external forces ".
He gave no evidence.
Many Hong Kong politicians, including pro-Hong Kong people
Democrats do keep in touch with foreign diplomats.
Government organizations, human rights organizations and think tanks.
One of them is that local lawmakers were followed by a monitoring team that told U. S. lawmakersS.
According to a 2007 leaked US diplomat in Hong Kong, his Democratic Party has been infiltrated by mainland agents and is in a "dangerous position"S.
Cables published by WikiLeaks
Activists say sometimes the surveillance of Democratic leaders seems to be purely an act of intimidation.
In May, Huang Jiahua, one of the most famous student protest leaders, visited Taiwan with two other group scholars and had a short holiday, the group is currently in support
The night they got to the ground
The floor room of the simple hotel in Taipei, the phone rang.
A Mandarin-speaking man asked Wang Jiawei that a "Hong Kong friend" wanted to visit him.
The boys said Huang was not there.
Later, they asked the front desk if the phone was from outside the hotel, 18-year-old Wong.
The front desk attendant refused, so he and his friend concluded that the person who called was already in the hotel and knew their room number.
"Even my parents didn't know which hotel I was in or exactly when I arrived.
But that guy knows the details . "
In two days, at least two men followed Huang and his friends.
One of them was within 2 m and took a picture of them on his phone.
When the boys faced the man, he said he was hired to follow and photograph them, but not part of the media.
Mr. Huang posted a photo of one of the men on his Facebook page.
He said he did not bother to report the case to the police.
Derek Lin, a student activist traveling with Mr Wong, said he suspected the people who followed them were trying to collect dirt to tar Pro
He said the person they met told them that he had instructions to take these photos, especially if they did something like visiting "women. ” Chan Kin-
Man, the founder of the Democratic Movement, said that in late September, just before the protests broke out, several people took turns monitoring his actions.
Chan, an associate professor of sociology at Chinese universities, described these people as "medium
They were arranged at a bus stop opposite his apartment.
They stayed here for a few days and worked 24-hour shifts.
University of Hong Kong pollsters and senior scholar Robert Chung has become accustomed to being attacked in Hong Kong.
Beijing has put pressure on his investigation.
His work explores sensitive topics, including attitudes towards political reform and feelings about national identity.
But earlier this year, Zhong was shocked when reports from one of the newspapers showed him being followed. A full-
Page in pro-
The Beijing communique may accuse him of reckless driving, including running red lights and turning illegally.
The report included photos of his car driving on different streets for several weeks.
The report is also accompanied by a chart showing the route he took and quoted a private investigator as saying that his "driving method is similar to the one used by spies trying to slip.
For Zhong, the degree of detail in this article shows the expertise beyond the black screen reporter.
"There has never been any real evidence before I read the story of the Ta Kung Pao," Zhong told Reuters . ".
"I believe they are professional agents.
A spokesman for the editor-in-chief of the Ta Kung Pao said that the report was completed by the reporter of the newspaper "independently.
The Catholic priest in Hong Kong said that MSS agents had approached them and asked about gossip about local clergy and church affairs, as well as the Vatican's thoughts on China.
These officials usually travel to Hong Kong on a tourist visa, but to be clear about their identity, they seek cautious meetings at cafes and restaurants. TRIAD-
Worrying about following his silver Mercedes for To is a simple test To convince him that he needs To go To the police station.
On Monday, August 11, he walked out of his apartment with three children. year-
Old son, turn right and walk down the street in North Point.
Sure enough, a silver Mercedes parked near his building.
He and his son walked into a small cafe and walked several doors.
A man came out of the car, followed them, and looked out of the window.
"At that time I knew I had to take action," he said . ".
"This is not normal.
He went to the police that day.
For the suspect, one reason the police have acted so quickly after monitoring is that they may be concerned about his safety.
On February, on a street not far from home, one of his close friends, investigative journalist Kevin Liu, was stabbed in the Triad. style attack.
Liu survived fortunately.
Quoted in a more controversial article by the reporter
The police warned him that he needed to be vigilant and provided him with protection, but he refused.
Hong Kong and mainland police have arrested nine men in connection with the attack on Liu.
In his written police report, he described the first time he saw about four cars behind him on his way to work at the Legislative Council on Wednesday morning, August. 6.
He told the police that it followed him whenever he changed lanes and that it slowed down whenever he changed lanes.
That day, he saw the Mercedes parked outside his workplace, with two Chinese men sitting inside.
The same car followed him home.
The next day, Thursday, the second silver Mercedes followed him to the office and stopped at a nearby building.
He said in the report that shortly before noon on Thursday, he left the office and drove to the racetrack.
The Mercedes that followed him in the morning followed him to the famous club.
He reported that the next morning, Friday, the second silver Mercedes returned to his tail as he drove to work.
This pattern continues until arrest.
After the police stormed, they told him that they had taken two men and two seized cars to the nearby police station.
The police told him that the two refused to answer the question.
They also told reporters that there was no evidence against the couple for any crime.
"They assured me that I will no longer be tracked," they told Reuters . ".
As of the day of the arrest, a Mercedes reported to the police had been registered at a residential address in the container port area of Kwai Chung, New Territories, Hong Kong, according to the Hong Kong Transportation Authority vehicle ownership record.
At the end of October, in an interview with Reuters at his doorstep, the owner, Riky Li Kwok -)
The police asked him to bring the Mercedes in for inspection, Ming said.
Li told Reuters that police had checked the vehicle and asked if he was following anyone.
Li said the police allowed him to leave and he had not heard from them since then.
Li denied being a current or former police officer.
He said he worked for the Hong Kong government but declined to give details.
He also said that he did not follow anyone and did not let others use his car.
He said that because his office is in the same area, he has been driving on Tanna Road in North Point and living there.
When asked if his car was parked outside the government office building and he was monitoring it, Li said: "Of course not, I just went to pick up my wife.
Li said his wife also worked for the Hong Kong government but did not elaborate.
Reuters later found Lee's car in an apparent parking area of the North Point government office. In a follow-
Earlier this month, Li said in an interview in the parking lot that he worked in the Government Logistics Department, where he has been working for more than 10 years.
The Hong Kong authorities have yet to explain who is following and why.
In his case, Li Guo
Clearly, the answer is simple: "This is a misconception.