Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director Christopher Wray expressed concern over reports of police stations linked to the Chinese government springing up across the US cities.

Speaking at the US Senate’s homeland security and governmental affairs committee hearing, Wray said that the bureau is investigating these claims, but declined to give further details.

I’m very concerned about this. We are aware of the existence of these stations,” Wray told the lawmakers.

“But to me, it is outrageous to think that the Chinese police would attempt to set up shop, you know, in New York, let’s say, without proper coordination. It violates the sovereignty and circumvents standard judicial and law enforcement cooperation processes.”

When asked by Republican Senator Rick Scott if such stations violated US law, Wray said that the FBI was “looking into the legal parameters”, reports BBC.

Apprehensions of a Chinese police station emerged after NGO Safeguard Defenders in its September report revealed the presence of these establishments across the world, including New York.

According to the Spain-based organisation, in its investigation, it found that Chinese public security bureaus established “overseas police service stations” in several continents, including two in London and one in Glasgow. In North America, it found stations in Toronto and in New York.

It is said that police stations were created to tackle transnational crime and to provide administrative services to Chinese nationals abroad, such as renewing driver’s licences abroad and other consular services

The NGO, however, believes that they also serve a “more sinister goal”, by contributing to “cracking down on all kinds of illegal and criminal activities involving overseas Chinese”.

The report prompted the Irish government to order to close one of the Chinese “police stations” in Dublin.