Chinese national held along Indo-Bangla border in Bengal; BSF suspects could be spy
Kolkata, June 10: A 35-year-old Chinese man was apprehended by the BSF from along the India-Bangladesh international border in West Bengal on Thursday, with the paramilitary force saying security agencies are probing if he was working for an intelligence agency of the neighbouring country, officials said.
Han Junwe is a resident of China''s Hubei province. He had visited India at least four times in the past and has a hotel in Gurgaon, near Delhi, the south Bengal frontier of the Border Security Force (BSF) headquartered in Kolkata said in a statement issued late in the evening.
The BSF said Junwe told them during interrogation that after his business partner was arrested recently by the Lucknow Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), he was not able to get an Indian visa and hence, applied for a Bangladeshi and a Nepalese visa to enter the country.
It said Junwe is a "wanted criminal" and all intelligence agencies are working together to unravel his links.
Dressed in a black sweatshirt, trousers and shoes, the man was "intercepted" by a BSF party around 7 am when he was "trying to cross the border illegally" near the Malik Sultanpur post of the force in West Bengal''s Malda district.
The force said the man was "moving stealthily" and when ordered to stop, "tried to run away", but the troops chased and caught him.
In a video statement of Junwe provided by the force, he said he entered India by "mistake" and that he wanted to "surrender" before the ATS Lucknow.
He also said he visited India in the past in connection with e-commerce business.
A Chinese passport, an Apple MacBook, two iPhones, a SIM card each of Bangladesh and India, two Chinese SIM cards, two pen drives, three batteries, two small torches, two ATM cards and some US dollars, Bangladeshi taka and Indian rupee were "recovered from his possession."
"In the electronic equipment found from Junwe, many facts can be found like he was working in India for which Chinese intelligence agency.
"This apprehension is a big achievement for the BSF and the matter will be investigated in depth. Many startling details may surface," the force said.
Junwe told the BSF that he reached Dhaka on a business visa on June 2 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 and then, moved towards the India-Bangladesh border," the force said.
It said the man told them that he visited Hyderabad in 2010 and Delhi and Gurgaon thrice after 2019.
"According to him, he has a hotel in Gurgaon named Star Spring. Some of his colleagues in this hotel are from China and the rest are Indians who have been employed.
"He said one of his business partners, Sun Jiang, used to send him 10-15 Indian SIM cards after a gap of a few days, which were received by him and his wife at their home in Hubei," the BSF said.
"But a few days ago, this business partner was caught by ATS Lucknow. He told them about Junwe and his wife, due to which a case was registered against him by the ATS Lucknow and hence, he could not get an Indian visa," it added.
Junwe then obtained visas from Bangladesh and Nepal to come to India, the BSF said.
The Chinese man was kept at the Mohadipur post of the border-guarding force in Malda and a security officer conversant in Mandarin and English led the joint questioning session by officials of the BSF, the local police and intelligence agencies.