Chinese Spy Busted Stealing Iowa Corn Seeds

roflbot(5)A couple of weeks ago we a had a virtual currency heist, now we’ve got Chinese biotech espionage in the middle of Iowa. Man, this world gets a little more cyberpunk with every passing day. I wonder if Google Glass comes in a mirrorshade edition?


Federal agents caught an alleged Chinese spy last week trying to smuggle highly valuable “inbred” cord seeds out of the country, prosecutors say. Mo Hailong is accused of stealing the seeds from fields in Illinois and Iowa and trying to evade FBI agents after dropping off seeds at a rented storage facility, reports the Des Moines Register. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $5 million fine for stealing trade secrets worth up to $40 million. What’s the big deal? Inbred seeds possess certain special qualities, like resistance to droughts or pests, reports the Smithsonian.

“It’s really the foundation for Iowa agriculture, so it’s really something that we need to protect,” says an Iowa professor. The FBI started investigating Mo—who works for a Chinese conglomerate with a corn seed company—when DuPont Pioneer officials say they saw him on his knees in a newly planted field. Mo was “very nervous and his face was flushed” when confronted, a manager said. Mo allegedly toured Pioneer and Monsanto facilities under an alias and later bought seeds from both companies. And he wasn’t alone: Agents also stopped three alleged accomplices trying to leave the country with seeds, but so far only Mo has been charged.

7 Comments on "Chinese Spy Busted Stealing Iowa Corn Seeds"

  1. Anarchy Pony | Dec 16, 2013 at 8:43 pm |

    Not cyberpunk til the razorgirls show up. And we’re all eating meat made of aquacultured krill cakes.

  2. BuzzCoastin | Dec 17, 2013 at 1:29 am |

    what a corny story
    last week they bought 44 mill of pig jizz
    (not the punk band)
    and now they’re steain inbred corn
    what’s next?
    jackin’ Walmart & shippin it all back

  3. It is also said that about AD 550, Christian monks smuggled silkworms, in a hollow stick, out of China and sold the secret to the Byzantine Empire.

  4. Simon Valentine | Dec 17, 2013 at 12:51 pm |

    because why have one snake oil salesmen support economy when you can build a bigger economy with science supported by crime and fraud? no, i’m not talking about someone or some people in particular. why lie when you can have a trade secret? why religion when you can have insurance? why slide on a slippery slope when you’re already down? it’s so complicated that it’s simple.

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