London [UK], May 2 (ANI/Sputnik): Chinese spies may have offered large sums of money to former members of the UK defense forces in a bid to receive classified information on Irish and European security affairs, The Sunday Times newspaper reported, citing ex-military.
Such offers were reportedly made to Michael Murphy, the former deputy director of the defense forces' military intelligence department, and former soldier Declan Power, who is now a security consultant at the European Union. Both reported the incidents to the authorities.
According to the newspaper, a Chinese citizen contacted Murphy and his business partner on the internet and offered 100,000 euros ($120,199) if they launched an investigation into a Europe-based non-governmental organization that was actively promoting an anti-Chinese campaign. Murphy believes that he was reached out to by an intelligence agent.
Power, in turn, said that he was contacted via LinkedIn by some Chinese consultant and offered bitcoins, noting that the conversation eventually came down to discussing the possibility of obtaining classified information. According to the former soldier, the alleged attackers were trying to obtain classified information about the means used by EU member states to fight terrorism.
MI5, the domestic counter-intelligence and security agency of the United Kingdom, believes that over the past five years, more than 10,000 Britons working in government departments and key industries have been targeted by "malicious" actors operating on the internet in the interests of "hostile states." (ANI/Sputnik)