Ex-Air China worker charged by USA for smuggling for Chinese military

Former Air China employee Ying Lin exits the building after a pretrial hearing in federal court in Brooklyn

A Queens woman involved in an investigation of Chinese intelligence operations linked to a Long Island mansion was indicted in Brooklyn federal court on Wednesday after officials said she helped smuggle packages for Chinese military representatives at the UN out of the United States and obstructed justice.

US prosecutors have dismissed as "inflammatory nonsense" a Macau billionaire's claims that he is being prosecuted in connection with a U.N. bribery scheme for geopolitical reasons to slow China's influence over developing nations. Since that time, Reuters has reported links between the two cases.

An indictment also accused Ying Lin, the former Air China employee, of helping a Chinese national the FBI was investigating flee the country in October 2015.

Mr Qin's connection to Ms Lin was revealed recently following the filing in court of the FBI's interview past year of Ng Lap Seng, a Macau billionaire accused of participating in a bribery scheme at the United Nations and who was also previously linked to Ms Lin. Ashe, who was accused taking $1.3 million, died this summer in a weightlifting accident before his case went to trial. She pleaded not guilty. In return, Lin received duty-free gifts including Apple electronic devices and expensive liquor in violation of NY tax law, according to prosecutors. The discounted booze included Hennessey Richard, Paradis, and XO Grand Champagne, and the tech items included MacBooks, iPads, iWatches and iPhones. She also helped a Chinese national who was the target of a federal inquiry escape on board a flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport in NY, according to the statement. The government also seeks the forfeiture of more than $200,000.

Neither Deborah Colson, Yin's lawyer, nor Abbe Lowell, who has represented Qin, responded to requests for comment.

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