The Dutch foreign ministry is investigating reports that China has set up two illegal police stations in the Netherlands, which it uses to harass dissidents.
The ministry’s announcement came on Wednesday after Dutch media reported that the Chinese posts in Amsterdam and Rotterdam purported to offer diplomatic assistance but that they had not been declared to the Netherlands’ government.
The “police stations” were being used to silence political opponents, according to a Chinese dissident living in the Netherlands cited by broadcaster RTL and investigative website Follow the Money.
China’s foreign ministry said the reports were “completely false” and said the “service stations” were meant to help overseas citizens do things like renew driving licences.
The Netherlands said it was taking the claims “seriously”.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is now investigating the activities of the so-called police centres. When we have more clarity about this, appropriate action will be taken,” Dutch foreign ministry spokeswoman Maxime Hovenkamp told the AFP news agency.
“It is true that we have not been informed about the centres through diplomatic channels.”