TORONTO – A Canadian naval engineer is accused of trying to send classified information on Canada’s shipbuilding strategy and marine sovereignty to the Chinese government.
Qing Quentin Huang, 53, from Waterdown, Ont., was arrested in nearby Burlington on Saturday, just two days after the RCMP say they became aware of the allegations against him.
The RCMP said they learned on Thursday that Huang was allegedly taking steps to pass on classified information to China relating to Canada’s national shipbuilding strategy.
Huang is a Canadian citizen and an employee of Lloyd’s Register, a subcontractor to Irving Shipbuilding Inc., the RCMP said Sunday at a news conference to announce the arrest.
“These are documents of a confidential and sensitive nature to the government of Canada that relate to their vessels that support our marine servcies in relation to sovereignty here in Canada,” said RCMP Chief Supt. Jennifer Strachan.
A LinkedIn profile lists a Quentin Huang as a naval engineer at Lloyd’s Register.
The national shipbuilding strategy includes patrol ships, frigates, naval auxiliary vessels, science research vessels and ice breakers, she said.
“In these types of cases sharing of information may given a foregin entity a tactical, military or competitive advantage by knowing the specifications of vessels responsible for defending Canadian waters and Canadian sovereignty. Having access to the products of very valuable and costly research and development may also provide unfair competititve and economic advantage.”
Huang is charged under the Security of Information Act with two counts of attempting to communicate classified information to a foreign entity. He is being held in custody pending a bail hearing Wednesday in Toronto, the RCMP said.
Police were able to act swiftly to safeguard the information and the investigation involved various policing agencies, the RCMP said.
“National security investigations are complex in nature and this one was no different, despite that we were able to move quickly to disrupt a threat to Canadian interests,” RCMP Chief Supt. Larry Tremblay.
“It is important to understand that there is more to national security investigations than focusing solely on terrorism. It is about protecting Canadian interests and taking the steps we need to protect our Canadian sovereignty.”
The RCMP is not aware of any threat to public safety at this time, said Strachan.