A Canadian Christian who ran a coffee shop on China’s border with North Korea has been charged with spying and stealing state secrets, reports The Telegraph.

Kevin Garratt, who has been detained since August 2014, worked for the Canada-based Christian organisation, North Star Aid, and ran a coffee shop in Dandong, which is the main transit point for North Korean refugees. North Star Aid distributes medical and food aid across the border to North Korea.

Garratt and his wife, Julia – who was detained but later released and is said to be barred from leaving the country – are from Vancouver but have lived in China for more than 30 years.

Dandong was also the base of South Korean pastor Kim Jong-Wook, who was sentenced to a life of hard labour by North Korea in May 2014 for spying. His public “repentance” saved him from the death penalty.