Developing Story: Russia jails man for eight years for handing over secrets to China

A Russian court sentenced a man to eight years in prison on Thursday after finding him guilty of state treason for allegedly handing over secrets to China, the TASS news agency reported. Vladimir Vasilyev, 52, was arrested in Russia’s eastern Siberian Zabaykalsky region that borders Mongolia and China in August 2019. He pleaded guilty to the charge of treason, TASS said, his trial was held behind closed doors and its details were not made public because of its classified nature. Vasilyev gathered and handed over information that constituted a state secret to China’s intelligence services, TASS cited a law enforcement … Continue reading Developing Story: Russia jails man for eight years for handing over secrets to China

Sweden charges man with spying for Russia

Sweden has charged a 47-year-old man with spying for Russia by selling information for several years to a Russian diplomat. Prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist said in a statement on Monday that the unidentified man had worked as a consultant at several Swedish companies where he had illegally obtained and sold information, placing the country’s security at risk. “While a consultant at his former workplaces, I allege that he obtained material with the purpose of providing information to a foreign power, in this case, Russia,” said Ljungqvist. “The man was apprehended whilst meeting a Russian diplomat where he had just received 27,800 … Continue reading Sweden charges man with spying for Russia

US charges three North Koreans over $1.3bn theft

Three North Koreans have been charged in the US over a scheme to steal and extort more than $1.3bn (£940m) from banks and businesses around the world. The three, who are not in custody, are also accused of deploying malicious cryptocurrency programs. A Canadian-American citizen was also charged with money laundering, the men are also accused of being part of the Wannacry cyber-attack of 2017, which crippled UK health service computer systems on a national scale. Announcing the charges, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, John Demers, said North Korea “has become a criminal syndicate with a flag”. One of … Continue reading US charges three North Koreans over $1.3bn theft

Australian journalist faces China spying charges

Australian journalist Cheng Lei, after months of detention in China, has been formally arrested on charges of supplying state secrets overseas, the Australian government has confirmed. Prior to her detention, Ms Cheng had been a TV presenter for Chinese state media outlet CGTN. She was detained in August and charged last Friday, Australian officials said. Canberra has repeatedly raised concerns with Beijing over Ms Cheng’s detention. “We expect basic standards of justice, procedural fairness and humane treatment to be met, in accordance with international norms,” said Australia’s foreign affairs minister Marise Payne. “Our thoughts are with Ms Cheng and her … Continue reading Australian journalist faces China spying charges

UK expels Chinese spies posing as journalists: Report

The United Kingdom has expelled three Chinese spies working in the UK while posing as journalists over the past year, the Daily Telegraph newspaper has reported. The three were understood to be intelligence officers for Beijing’s Ministry of State Security, the paper said on Thursday, citing an unnamed senior government source. “Their true identities were uncovered by MI5 and they have since been forced to return to China,” it said, referring to Britain’s domestic intelligence agency. All three had claimed “to work for three different Chinese media agencies,” the source said, adding they had all arrived in the country over … Continue reading UK expels Chinese spies posing as journalists: Report

Chinese-Australian businessman wins media defamation case

A Chinese-Australian billionaire has won a defamation case against two Australian media organisations over a news investigation he argued wrongly portrayed him as a Chinese spy. Dr Chau Chak Wing, a philanthropist and businessman, was among the subjects of an ABC Four Corners episode in 2017. A court found the episode had unfairly damaged his “good name”, but had not necessarily made him out to be a spy. The ABC and Nine Entertainment said the decision is a blow to media freedom. The two media organisations have been ordered to pay damages of A$590,000 (£330,000, $450,000) to Dr Chau over … Continue reading Chinese-Australian businessman wins media defamation case

Iran arrests US dual national on spying charges

Iran says it has arrested a US-Iranian dual national facing spying charges who attempted to leave the country. Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili did not identify the man, but said he “had been free on bail”. Iranian media reported last week that a US-Iranian businessman named Emad Shargi had been arrested has he tried to cross a western border illegally. It could complicate plans by new US President Joe Biden to re-engage diplomatically with Iran, his predecessor Donald Trump subjected the Tehran government to a “maximum pressure” campaign of crippling economic sanctions. Mr Trump wanted to compel Iranian leaders to renegotiate … Continue reading Iran arrests US dual national on spying charges

US intelligence agencies say Russia likely behind gov’t hack

United States intelligence agencies have said that Russia was likely behind an enormous hack of government departments and corporations. The announcement on Tuesday, which came in a rare joint statement from the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the National Security Agency, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, rejects claims from President Donald Trump that the widespread hack may have been the work of China. The statement represented the US government’s first formal assignment of responsibility for the breaches. It was also the first time intelligence officially referenced a motive in the hacking, which they said appeared to be part of … Continue reading US intelligence agencies say Russia likely behind gov’t hack

Netherlands expels 2 Russian diplomats accused of spying

The Dutch intelligence service has said two Russian diplomats were allegedly working as spies, they allegedly targeted high-tech industries working on both civilian and military applications. The Netherlands will expel two alleged Russian spies that were working as accredited diplomats, the Dutch intelligence service announced on Thursday. The Netherlands’ General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) said the two diplomats were working for Russia’s civilian SVR intelligence service, they were allegedly gathering intelligence on high-tech companies in the Netherlands. AIVD said one of the Russians had “built a substantial network of sources, all of which are or have been active in … Continue reading Netherlands expels 2 Russian diplomats accused of spying

Russian citizen charged with spying on energy technology in Denmark

A Russian citizen has been arrested in Denmark, charged with providing information on energy technology to Russian Intelligence. The individual will be tried on the charges, the Danish Public Prosecution Authority confirmed in a statement Wednesday. “The defendant, who has been in custody since the beginning of July 2020, is suspected of having provided information on, among other things, Danish energy technology for a Russian intelligence service,” the authority added, the charges follow a major investigation by Denmark’s Police Intelligence Service. The suspect, whose name, gender and age have not been revealed by the authorities, faces six years imprisonment under … Continue reading Russian citizen charged with spying on energy technology in Denmark

CIA officer killed in combat in Somalia

A CIA officer was killed in Somalia last weekend, according to a former senior administration official with knowledge of the matter, the officer was wounded in an operation in the country and later died, the source said. The identity of the officer has not been made public but the source said the officer was a former Navy SEAL. The death comes as the Trump administration is making plans to withdraw more than 600 troops from Somalia in the near future, US Special Operations forces have been embedded with the Somali National Army, assisting in the fight against the militant group Al-Shabaab. … Continue reading CIA officer killed in combat in Somalia

Former US Army Green Beret pleads guilty to spying for Russia

A former officer in the US Army’s elite Special Forces unit the Green Berets pleaded guilty on Wednesday to spying for Russia, the Justice Department said. Peter Rafael Dzibinski Debbins, 45, is to be sentenced on February 26, 2021 and faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. “Debbins today acknowledged that he violated this country’s highest trust by passing sensitive national security information to the Russians,” Assistant Attorney General John Demers said in a statement. According to prosecutors, the US-born Debbins was recruited by the Russians as early as 1996, before he had joined the army but after several … Continue reading Former US Army Green Beret pleads guilty to spying for Russia