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Thomas Reichenbach

Several cases of Chinese espionage have been announced recently in Europe.  

Thomas Reichenbach, Herwig and Ina Fischer. were arrested on 22 April, 2024 for illegal exports of dual use technology with military (naval) applications.


Reichenbach lists himself as a contract marketing manager for the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. He studied at Peking University in the mid-80s. He worked in China, speaks Mandarin, and has a Chinese wife.


Herwig and Ina Fischer own a small engineering consulting company named Innovative Dragon in Duesseldorf. Both have travelled extensively in China. Innovative Dragon contracts for technical research with universities. Herwig studied mechanical engineering and aircraft and spacecraft construction at Rhine-Westphalia Higher Technical School focusing on guidance technology and composite fiber materials. The company headquarters in London and offices in Duesseldorf and Shanghai (Donghua University Science and Technology Park). The London office does not appear to have functioning phone number.


Reichenbach is suspected of having been recruited by the MSS in China. The German government has accused the trio of having illegally exported dual use technology since at least 2022. At the time of the arrests, the suspects were in negotiations on further research projects that could be useful for expanding the combat strength of the PLA Navy. 


Status: Alleged


Tradecraft:

  1. Use of a front company in London to facilitate illegal exports.

  2. Use of third countries to facilitate illegal exports.

  3. Reichenbach recruited Herwig and Ina Fischer and handled them as in-country assets.

  4. MSS (Probably) recruited Reichenbach in China.

  5. MSS officer handled Reichenbach from China.

  6. MSS funded operation through front companies.


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