Russian spy: Norwegian police have arrested a ‘Brazilian’, accused of espionage



CNN

Norwegian police arrested an academic working at the University of Tromsø in the Arctic Circle on Monday on suspicion of secretly spying for Russia, according to Norwegian public broadcaster NRK.

Norwegian police told NRK that the man, a university researcher, claims to be a Brazilian citizen, but they suspect he may be using a false identity and may actually be a Russian citizen.

“We have requested that a Brazilian researcher from the University of Tromsø be expelled from Norway, as we believe he poses a threat to fundamental national interests,” said Hedvig Moe, head of the Norwegian Police Security Service, speaking to NRK.

“PST (Norwegian Police Security Service) is concerned that a network and information about Norwegian politics in the northern area has been obtained. “While this network or the information it has gradually collected is not a threat to the security of the kingdom, we are concerned that Russia may misuse the information,” Moe added.

CNN has reached out to police for comment.

The agency did not name the man, but said on its Twitter account that he had violated two sections of Norway’s criminal code, dealing with illegal intelligence that could “harm fundamental national interests” and “fundamental national interests” and “security interests.” . other states.”

The PST said it was working closely with intelligence agencies in other countries as they work on the case.

Russian authorities have yet to comment on the arrest, but in an email to NRK the Russian embassy said they were not aware of the circumstances of the case and described it as a “spy mania” in Norway where “everything Russian … is suspect”. and it smells like espionage.”

The public broadcaster said the case is being treated as an immigration case, and the man’s lawyer said he opposes the arrest and “disagrees with the basis of it.” He said that he has received “very little specific information about the case so far”.

In July, Richard Moore, the head of Britain’s MI6 intelligence service, told CNN’s Jim Sciutto that since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, European countries have expelled “northern Russian intelligence officers operating under diplomatic cover” across the bloc.

The country has been on edge after a series of spills at two Russian gas pipelines – both of which run through the Baltic Sea near Sweden and Denmark – which leaders of several countries said were the result of sabotage.

The spills came ahead of the inauguration of the Baltic Pipeline, which would transport gas from Norway to Poland, a centerpiece of Warsaw’s efforts to diversify away from Russian supplies.

In June, Dutch authorities said they had foiled an attempt by a Russian spy to enter the International Criminal Court (ICC) by posing as an intern.

He was identified as Sergey Vladimirovich Cherkasov, a Russian military intelligence officer who traveled to the Netherlands in April for an internship at the International Criminal Court (ICC). From there, he would have a perch to spy on war crimes investigations into Russian military actions in Ukraine and elsewhere, the sources said.