Canada arrests "shipbuilding spy"

Arrest was announced at RCMP press conference Arrest was announced at RCMP press conference

DECEMBER 2, 2013 — Canadian authorities have charged Qing Quentin Huang of Toronto with attempting to sell classified information on Canadian shipbuilding programs.

Mr. Huang, a 53 year old naturalized Canadian citizen, is an engineer employed by Lloyd's Register Canada which is subcontracted by Irving Shipbuilding whose National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy projects include the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship.

The RCMP yesterday issued the following statement:

This morning, the RCMP along with partners from the Toronto Police Service and the Ontario Provincial Police detailed circumstances that led to the arrest of 53 year old Qing Quentin Huang of Toronto. Mr. Huang has been charged under the Security of Information Act with two counts of attempt to communicate to a foreign entity information that the Government of Canada is taking measures to safeguard.

On Thursday, November 28, 2013, the RCMP was informed that Mr. Huang was taking steps to pass sensitive information to authorities from the People's Republic of China. The information relates to certain elements of the Government of Canada National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy which includes patrol ships, frigates, naval auxiliary vessels, science research vessels and ice breakers.

"In these types of cases, sharing of information may give a foreign entity a tactical, military or competitive advantage by knowing the specifications of vessels responsible for defending Canadian waters and Canadian sovereignty," stated RCMP Chief Superintendent Jennifer Strachan, the Criminal Operations Officer for the Province of Ontario.

From the moment the RCMP was informed of the criminal nature of the actions, it initiated a Criminal Investigation dubbed Project Seascape.

"National Security Investigations are complex and this one was no different," added RCMP Chief Superintendent Larry Tremblay, Director General of the RCMP's Federal Policing Criminal Operations in Ottawa. "It is important to understand that there is more to National Security than focusing solely on terrorism. It's about protecting Canadian interests and taking the steps we need to take to protect our sovereignty."

The RCMP and its partners take all threats to National Security and our sovereignty seriously. Indeed, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service provided excellent cooperation in this investigation. The public is always encouraged to bring any suspicious activities to the RCMP's attention through the National Security Information Network (1-800-420-5805) or by contacting the police in their community.

Canadian media report that in a statement released Sunday afternoon, Irving Shipbuilding President Kevin McCoy said Mr. Huang did not have direct access to "any classified or controlled information" relating to the NSPS vessels.

"Security of information surrounding the AOPS (Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships) project, and all NSPS programs is tightly controlled at Irving Shipbuilding. We adhere to all security protocols required by our customers," the statement concluded.

Media reports quote Lloyd's Register Canada as saying Huang did not have direct access to any classified or controlled information related to the company's recent work with Irving Shipbuilding or the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy and that Mr. Huang is being suspended without pay and the company is assisting the RCMP with its investigation.

The Toronto Star quotes Bud Streeter of Lloyd's Register as saying that Mr. Huang has been employed as one of 20 marine engineers at the Burlington offices of Lloyd's Register since April 2006. His title was structural design appraisal engineer and he was tasked with assessing ship designs for compliance with industry standards.

The newspaper says that according to the Professional Engineers of Ontario database, Mr. Huang received a Master of Engineering in marine hydrodynamics from Huazhong (Central China) University of Science & Technology in 1985. He was licensed in Ontario in 2004.

Want more? Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Marine Daily for breaking marine news