Former Top US Sanctions Official Hired By Chinese Surveillance Firm With Ties To Military

(FRED DUFOUR/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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A former senior official at the Treasury Department’s sanctions program has been hired by a Chinese firm with alleged ties to the Chinese military.

The official, Peter Kucik, was formerly a senior sanctions policy advisor at the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. He was hired by lobbying firm Mercury Public Affairs last month, which added him to its Hikvision account last week, according to Axios.

Hikvision is a Chinese surveillance company currently on the Pentagon’s blacklist of companies with ties to the Chinese military. The company denies that it has any dealings with the People’s Liberation Army, but a recent report from The Wall Street Journal revealed further ties between the company and the Chinese military.

The company is the world’s largest producer of surveillance equipment. According to an industry research report obtained by The WSJ, Hikvision sold drones and other accessory gear to the Chinese air force in 2019, and in 2014, it was considered a top-tier supplier to the Chinese military.

Hikvision has also allegedly been involved in surveillance of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang, both in mosques and detention camps. (RELATED: Democrats And Republicans Agree: China Has ‘No Respect’ For Its People’s Rights)

The Defense Department added Hikvision last year to its list of companies “owned or controlled” by the Chinese military. Last month, President Joe Biden added the company to a list of Chinese companies banned from U.S. investment, and the Commerce Department restricted its ability to conduct business with U.S. companies in 2019, according to Axios. (RELATED: China Tries To Throw Shade At America On 4th Of July By Sharing Cartoon Of A Gun Death)

Two former Democratic lawmakers, Connecticut Rep. Toby Moffett and California Sen. Barbara Boxer, have also been added to Mercury’s Hikvision account in recent months, although Boxer quickly left the post after public backlash, according to Axios.