Three German citizens have been arrested on suspicion of working for Chinese intelligence services and transferring technology that could be used for military purposes. This was reported by Reuters.

According to prosecutors, the arrests were made on the basis of information gathered by German domestic intelligence.

The three suspects are a married couple, Gerwig F. and Ina F., who own a company in Düsseldorf, and Thomas R., who is said to be an agent of an unidentified employee of the Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS).

“At the time of their arrest, the defendants were in further negotiations regarding research projects that could be particularly useful in expanding China’s military power at sea,” said Justice Minister Marco Bushman.

The couple reportedly entered into a cooperation agreement with a German university, which provided for training for an MSS employee to study machine parts that could be used in warships.

The suspects also purchased a special laser in Germany and exported it to China without authorization.

Interior Secretary Nancy Feather said the government is monitoring what she called the significant threat posed by Chinese espionage in business, industry and science.

In this case, the issue of German innovative technologies that China could use for military purposes is “particularly sensitive.”

“We’re watching these risks and threats very closely and clearly warning and raising awareness of them to strengthen protective measures everywhere,” Feather said.