Ruiyou Lin has been accused of running an undercover Chinese law enforcement operation from his unassuming office located in Croydon. This has led to rumours of his association with influential and possibly harmful individuals. After several months of the allegations being made public, Lin has finally consented to an interview, giving a unique opportunity to gain insight into the man in the midst of a major international confrontation between China and the West.
He told MyLondon: “Last night, when I go down the street and tried to buy some food for myself a guy comes up to me and says ‘Hey, are you the secret police?’ And that is not the first time,
“A lot of people ring the doorbell harassing us, maybe 20 or 30 people a day. People are always looking at me.”
Lin has claimed that a journalist approached his son on his way to school soon after the article was released and informed him that “your father is involved with the secret police.”
He maintains that he reported this occurrence to the Croydon police station, but they directed him to Action Fraud, which he believes may have been due to his occasional difficulty with the English language.
The owner of the delivery app appeared to be extremely upset by the supposed event and stated that it had caused him to worry about his family’s security.
He added: “When lots of people are saying you are a secret police, even if it’s not true it makes you stressed.
“You cannot feel comfortable, I’m scared of the school calling me and always worry about my kids.
“Since things come out on the newspapers I cannot sleep and I’m not eating properly. Normally I sleep at about twelve o’clock.
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“But now like I’m sleeping at about 4am or 5am sometimes even 12 in the afternoon.
“I have got a prescription from the GP for pills, when I saw them they were surprised and said ‘How can you lose that much weight?'”
In comparison to the widely-circulated photos of him posing alongside Boris Johnson and Theresa May, Lin’s white dress shirt appears to be noticeably less fitted.
These images, combined with his purported ties to Conservative Party organizations, have led to allegations that the Government has been slow to investigate the matter.
These claims have been further strengthened by the recent arrest of two men in New York by the FBI, who were connected to an address accused of serving as a “police station” as well.
Footage indicates that Lin was standing in front of a blue banner that looks strikingly similar to one seen in photos featuring the two individuals arrested in New York.
When questioned by MyLondon about this, Lin maintains that the connection to the “police” has been misconstrued.
“The UK and China is different. In China, they don’t have a department like the DVLA. They put everything in the police department, but actually it’s not a police job. It’s called a ‘Chinese police driving licence’, but the thing is it’s not [connected to] a police station,” he claims.
“Actually what those pictures was about is the Chinese driving licence renewal. If you are from China and you live in UK and you don’t renew your driving licence, when you come back, you must re-test the driving licence.
“So because of the COVID situation and the people from my city cannot go back to China. So for me as a UK Fujianese Association chairman, what I wanted to do is help you then to renew a driver’s licence. When people asked me ‘if I need to help where do I need to go?’ I said ‘yeah, just come to my office’ and after that my address is listed.”
When asked to clarify why two individuals who were photographed under the same banner in the United States, linked to a business with comparable allegations, were accused of operating a police station, Lin responded: “In fact, this banner simply represents a facility for renewing driving licenses. It has nothing to do with the police.”
According to the October 2022 report by The Times, Lin was under investigation by both the UK Government and the Metropolitan Police. When MyLondon inquired about this matter, the Metropolitan Police declined to provide a statement, but Lin confirmed that there was an ongoing case against him.
He believes that the investigation’s outcomes will prove his innocence.
“The police come to visit me in my office and my house,” he continued. “They were thinking I may be hiding something or whatever in the house. When they come into my house when they see it is a family house I have got kids there and I’m a proper family man.
“I’d love them to finish the case as soon as possible. I’m keeping chasing them [about it]. I want to cooperate with the investigation and get everything cleared as soon as possible.”
When asked by MyLondon about the nature of the police investigation, Lin stated that he could not discuss the specifics while the inquiry was still ongoing. However, he did mention that he had travelled outside of the UK on multiple occasions since the investigation began.
“If I’m involved in any of police jobs, harassing anyone or doing anything for the police the first thing is I will not stay here today,” he added. “But I have gone out of the country many times during the investigation. If I [was part of the secret police] I wouldn’t come back to England.”
Lin additionally indicated that he did not have the necessary qualifications to engage in any form of law enforcement work and that his business was not a suitable location for an undercover police station to operate.
He said: “To be in the police you need to have a minimum level of education, like university, to be in the police. I didn’t even go to school – so how could I qualify? I think the people who wrote this wanted to make a good story.
“Where you come in my office we have people from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Pakistan, India and local Croydon people. A lot people from all different places, it’s a multicultural company. It’s not a police station, if it was a police station we’d be hiring all Chinese people to work here.
“The UK is not a third-world country, they have a very good legal system and has very good law. I haven’t done anything, it’s all just rumours. If I had done I wouldn’t speak with you here today.”
Reports about Lin have also emphasized his purported ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). He is alleged to have attended CCP political conferences in China and held positions in several organizations in the UK that had links to the party department responsible for a strategy that employs Chinese nationals residing overseas to advance its interests.
Lin refuted these claims, stating that his interactions were related to generating capital for his delivery app business and that he did not have any connections to the CCP.
Lin is keen to stress the close bond he feels towards the UK and how grateful he is to the country he’s called his home for over two decades. He says he encountered nothing but kindness since arriving from China with limited education and no wealth.
“I came to the UK in 2000 when I was about 18 I started working as a handyman in restaurants, helping in the kitchen. I hoped to get a better life in the UK,” he explained.
“I don’t engage with the party,” he said. “The people in the party I meet is as a businessman. I’m not a member of them. I’m speaking to them to gain more business to get my dream done.
“It’s not like the newspaper says, for me, my company we need a lot of investors, like it’s not like a million pounds it’s about billion pounds. We need to get rich people, good businessmen, successful businessmen coming to invest in my company. I am fighting very hard to find out who is interested in my business.”
Asked about pictures with political figures in both the UK and China Lin replied: “I like to take pictures with famous people. Some people would like to take pictures with movie stars for me it’s people in politics.”
“China and the UK, the two countries for me it’s like one is my mother and one is my father. I come from China and I love my country, but I’m living in the UK for more than half of my life. It’s like I’m British. I love the country so much too, it’s given me too much. In China, I was a small kid, when I came here this is the place I grew up.
“After working very hard for many years I opened a Chinese takeaway, The Hot Wok. I found we weren’t making money because all the other delivery platforms were taking commissions. I wanted to see what we could do to help that and in the end, we set up the All Eat App to stop restaurants paying commission.”
Lin alleges that the accusations have hampered the growth of his app. He asserts that he has lost customers, and an investor withdrew from a deal. However, during the interview, he refused to speculate on who might be responsible for the allegations.
“You know more than me what is behind all of this,” he replied cryptically when MyLondon asked. “I want to know: Why are the people doing this to me? If I tell you it is this person or that person making it up that will create [more] hate.
I just want to know a peaceful life with my kids. I don’t want to make more hate. I don’t want to make more harassment.
“I am a proper businessman and family man. I’m fighting very hard to make a good life and education for all my kids. All my kids are in the UK, they are not living abroad.
“If I am a ‘secret police’ or whatever, I would move my kid to China or other countries.”
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