Wedding Photographer

Wedding photographer sentenced to 14 years in prison for providing hundreds of photos of warships and military ports to someone overseas

Infographic: Wu Tiantong/GT

A wedding photographer has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for undermining national security after he was found providing 384 photos of Chinese warships and military ports to someone overseas he met via WeChat, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate revealed on Sunday.

The photos included material from three top state secrets and two classified state secrets. The photographer received a payment of more than 40,000 yuan ($6,280) for these photos.

He was sentenced to 14 years in prison and deprived of his political rights for five years. The payment of 40,000 yuan was also confiscated as evidence of the crime of spying on behalf of foreign countries and illegal disclosure of state secrets.

The case is listed by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate as one of the four typical cases of crimes against national security. In recent years, online recruiting and dating and other social media platforms have become hotbeds of infiltration by hostile foreign forces.

Students, workers and unemployed youth are susceptible to being hijacked and used by strangers in their online job search or other networking activities.

Another typical case was that of a college student who met a foreign person using the name “Han” on a dating app. From March to July 2020, the student visited military ports and other military bases several times to take photos and share them with Han via WeChat and other social apps.

The student was “rewarded” with more than 10,000 yuan ($1,570) and a Casio watch, among other gifts. He was sentenced to six years in prison.

Another defendant, surnamed Wu, was the operations commander at the aviation and operations management department at an airport. He was joined by an agent from a spy organization who seduced him into providing the itineraries of important figures in government bodies. Wu was sentenced to 13 years in prison.