China has placed a Canadian couple under investigation for suspected theft of state secrets about the country’s military and national defense research, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. They were identified as Kevin and Julia Dawn Garratt.
The State Security Bureau of Dandong, a city in northeastern China’s Liaoning province, is now investigating the case in accordance with law, the report said, without saying the couple’s whereabouts.
The Garratts operated a café overlooking China’s border with North Korea, according to Toronto-based The Globe and Mail.
Peter’s Coffee House, named after the couple’s youngest son, was opened in 2008, following their move to Dandong. They previously worked as teachers in southern China.
The couple prided themselves on offering “the best coffee on the border”, the newspaper said, adding that the couple also ran a weekly club where local Chinese could come to practice speaking English.
The Garratts also helped plan tours for tourists who wanted to visit the Hermit Kingdom on the other side of the Yalu River. “We also can help you organize a trip over the border. Just ask,” reads the Peter’s Coffee House website.
The arrests occurred less than a week after Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper implicated China in alleged acts of cyber espionage, the report said.
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