Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cyprus Police Arrest Suspect in Alleged Russian Spy Ring

A man suspected of being the 11th member of a U.S. spy ring allegedly working for Russia was arrested and released on bail in Cyprus, AFP reported Tuesday.

Russia is now asking for access to the 11 people arrested.

Robert Christopher Metsos, 55, was arrested at Cyprus' Larnaca airport as he tried to leave the island for Budapest early Tuesday, police said.

A magistrate released Metsos on bail of $24,410 to reappear in court within 30 days, when an extradition hearing was due to start.

"Based on the (Interpol) red notice we received, he is wanted for money laundering and espionage," police spokesman Michalis Katsounotos told Reuters.

One of the 10 alleged Russian spies already arrested by the FBI had a fake British passport to help her to travel to and from Russia, it was alleged Tuesday.

A woman calling herself Tracey Lee Ann Foley and posing as a naturalized U.S. citizen traveled to Moscow on the passport forged for her by Russian intelligence services, it was claimed.

The woman was instructed in a coded internet message to pick up the passport in Vienna, sign it and “train yourself to be able to reproduce your signature when necessary."

The message from her handlers at the SVR, the Russian spy agency which succeeded the Soviet KGB, ends: “In the passport you’ll get a memo with recommendations. Pls, destroy the memo after reading. Be well.”

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