Canadian arrested, charged for trying to transmit info to China

MONTREAL (AFP) - A Canadian naval engineer was arrested and charged for taking steps to transmit sensitive information to China related to shipbuilding procurement strategy, police said on Sunday.

Authorities say Toronto resident Qing Quentin Huang, 53, shared details about the country's shipbuilding procurement strategy, including patrol ships, frigates, naval auxiliary vessels, science research vessels and ice breakers.

Huang was arrested on Saturday and charged Sunday under Canada's Security of Information Act with two counts of attempt to communicate classified information to a foreign entity.

He is being held pending a bail hearing Wednesday, and could face life in prison if convicted.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Chief Superintendent Larry Tremblay said Huang acted alone.

London-based maritime classification group Lloyd's register lists Huang as a surveyor, while a LinkedIn profile lists him as a naval engineer at the company. Lloyd's Register is a subcontractor of Canada's largest shipbuilder Irving Shipbuilding.

"In these types of cases, sharing of information may give a foreign entity a tactical, military or competitive advantage by knowing the specification of vessels responsible for defending Canadian waters and Canadian sovereignty," said Ms Jennifer Strachan, an RCMP chief superintendent.