Washington [US] July 24 (ANI): Nine people have been indicted on charges of conspiring to act in the United States as illegal agents of the People's Republic of China (PRC).

These 'Chinese agents' have been charged with engaging and conspiring to engage in interstate and international stalking, while two of the nine have also been charged with obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice, a statement from the US Department of Justice said.

A federal grand jury on Thursday filed an indictment charging nine defendants.

"The defendants allegedly acted at the direction and under the control of PRC government officials, conducted surveillance of and engaged in a campaign to harass, stalk and coerce certain residents of the United States to return to the PRC as part of a global, concerted and extralegal repatriation effort known as "Operation Fox Hunt," the statement said.

The suspects are accused of acting on the directions of Chinese forces to carry out the return of two individuals identified only as John Doe #1 and his wife Jane Doe #1.

"Around 2012 and 2014, the PRC government caused the International Criminal Police Organization to issue 'Red Notices' again these individuals," the statement said.

Both of these individuals are on PRC's wanted list for 'embezzlement, abuse of power [and] acceptance of bribes' which carried a maximum possible penalty of death under PRC law. (ANI)

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