Four Are Charged With

Stealing Military Secrets

LOS ANGELES -- An engineer at a California defense contractor and three others who authorities say are "foreign intelligence officers" for China were arrested and charged with stealing U.S. military secrets, according to court documents.

Federal prosecutors declined to comment Friday on the arrest a week ago of Chi Mak and his wife, Rebecca Laiwah Chiu; Chi's brother, Tai Wang Mak; and Tai's wife, Fuk Heung Li, at Los Angeles International Airport last week as they prepared to board a flight to China.

The four are charged with theft of government property, conspiracy and transportation of stolen goods.

Chi, the lead engineer on a classified research project involving quiet propulsion systems -- known as Quiet Electric Drive -- for Navy warships, is accused of taking sensitive information about the project, copying it onto compact discs and delivering them to his brother. The affidavit said Tai encrypted the information and planned to take it to China. Their wives are charged as accomplices.

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-- From News Services