An overstaying Chinese tourist who allegedly lied to a federal agent was found guilty last Monday following his jury trial.
Xinzhou Ren was unanimously found guilt of lying to a federal agency last Monday at the U.S. District Court for the NMI. He will be sentenced on June 4 at 9am.
According to Saipan Tribune archives, Ren was arrested for allegedly lying to a federal agent that he had fled China because of fear that he would be persecuted or harmed due to his religious affiliation. Ren later admitted to a federal agent that he did not have such fear and was, in fact, staying in the CNMI for other reasons.
DHS Homeland Security Investigations special agent Nicole Sively stated in her affidavit in support of the criminal complaint that during an administrative interview on May 13, 2019, Ren stated that he told immigration officers at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport that he was on Saipan as a visitor. Sively said that, according to Ren, he used that as an excuse because he wanted to escape China. Ren stated that he was wanted by the police in Hebei Province, China, in 2015. Ren also allegedly stated that he left China because his government persecuted him due to his religion. The defendant stated he feared he would be harmed if he returns to China.
Sively said Ren later admitted he did not have such fear and was staying in the CNMI for other reasons. Sively said Ren was then released from HSI custody and scheduled for service of immigration documents at a later date.
Ren then presented himself at the Enforcement and Removal Operations Office on Saipan, requesting the return of his passport and presenting a copy of his passport and an itinerary with booking information for a flight to China.
Sively said she requested that Ren report back to the HSI Office where he presented the HSI personnel with a copy of his passport, a receipt in the amount of $535, and an itinerary for departure from Saipan.
Ren also provided the HSI personnel with a sworn statement confirming that he had told Sively that he fled China because of fear that he would be persecuted or harmed due to his religious affiliation.
Sively said Ren told her that he no longer wished to “claim asylum” and wanted to return to China. Ren was then arrested.