China running ‘police’ station in Vancouver, civil rights group believes

China running ‘police’ station in Vancouver, civil rights group believes

The civil right group has documented 5 Chinese-operated ‘police’ stations in Canada – one in Vancouver.

A Spanish civil rights group believes it has discovered undercover “police” stations operated in Canada, including one in Vancouver.

Safeguard Defenders published a report revealing the existence of 48 Chinese “police service stations” operating overseas.

The not-for-profit human rights group reported 102 stations in 53 countries.

Like Vancouver, Safeguard Defenders lists this single-storey commercial building in Markham, Ont., as one of the three so-called Chinese "police" stations in Canada.

Like Vancouver, Safeguard Defenders lists this single-storey commercial building in Markham, Ont., as one of the three so-called Chinese “police” stations in Canada.

The two most recent stations uncovered in Canada, including the Vancouver station and another in an unknown location, add to the three stations the group allegedly located in Toronto and currently under investigation by the RCMP.

The report says the stations are operated out of four Chinese jurisdictions: Nantong, Wenzhou, Qingtian and Fuzhou.

The Vancouver station (location unknown), is allegedly operated in Wenzhou, a port in China’s Zhejiang province.

No one from the Chinese Embassy was available for comment on the new information, but it has previously described the offices as volunteer-run service stations to process things like driver’s licences.

However, Safeguard Defenders believes the stations are involved in “persuasion to return” operations. The group states evidence describes individuals connected to these stations have been involved in persuading nationals suspected of committing crimes to return to China to face criminal trials.

The report found that at least one “persuasion to return” operation is being run through a station in Paris.

“This contradicts PRC authorities’ statements that the stations are merely providing administrative services,” reads the report.

The Chinese government also previously stated that the stations were only set up to help Chinese nationals living overseas during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Safeguard Defenders claims most of the 48 newly-documented stations were set up in 2016.

In September, the RCMP declared it was investigating the Toronto-based stations for “reports of criminal activity in relation to the so-called ‘police’ stations.”

CBC News has reached out to RCMP in B.C. as well as the Ministry of Public Safety.

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