Kevin and Julia Garratt face serious questions from Chinese authorities. The Canadian couple are suspected of stealing intelligence material about Chinese military targets effectively spying and threatening national security.
The couple’s children haven’t heard from their parents, described in some reports as Christian activists, since Monday and say the allegations as “absurd.” Originally from Vancouver, the Garratts moved to China in 1984. They’ve run a cafe in Dandong, near China’s border with North Korea, since 2008.
The Canadian embassy in China says it’s aware of the situation and is monitoring events closely. If convicted, theft of state secrets is punishable in China with life in prison or the death penalty.
Canada’s foreign minister Jonh Baird is not commenting on the allegations as he continues his tour of Asia. But the news is dominating headlines in Canada and the idea of cold-war style espionage has got people talking.
Kristiaan Yeo reports from Toronto.
Follow Kristiaan Yeo on Twitter @ThatsTheLatest
China detains Canadian couple in suspicion of stealing intelligence materialA Canadian couple has been detained by Chinese authorities, suspected of stealing intelligence material about Chinese military targets, effectively spying and threatening national security.