ecently, one lucky Chinese villager earned himself some extra pocket money by managing to spot a foreign “spying device” just off a beach in Zhejiang province.
The device that villager found was made by a Canadian company, according to a report in the local Wenzhou Daily. It was used to surveil the underwater environment, equipped with a high definition camera and capable of reaching depths of up to 600 meters, the report said, citing info from the local department of China’s Ministry of State Security.
Though the device was Canada-made, the report does not indicate if it was operated by the Canadian government. It’s also not clear what exactly the device was monitoring.
The villager, surnamed Yang, found the device in September and turned it over to local authorities. Recently, his actions were rewarded with a visit from security officials who gave him an undisclosed prize.
China has often tried to incentivize its citizens to help in counter-espionage. Back in 2015, the country set up a national hotline so that people could easily report foreign spies. To help them identify a foreign agent, authorities issued a handy-dandy list of suspicious traits to look out for, including: “People who regularly visit certain places to exchange good or documents.”