Sweden arrests two suspect spies for ‘gross illegal intelligence activities’ in dramatic predawn raid

On Tuesday, authorities in Sweden said that they had detained two people — one on the suspicion of espionage and the other for supposedly being an accomplice with the suspected crimes, in Stockholm area in a dramatic predawn operation. 

While the country’s security agency, SAPO, gave few details about the case, media reports citing witnesses described elite police arriving in two Black Hawk helicopters to arrest the  couple that had allegedly spied for Russia, reported the Associated Press. According to the court documents, the two had been gathering intelligence since 2013. 

The police spokesperson also said that the two arrested were not connected to any other ongoing investigations and asserted, “Sweden must not be a platform for foreign powers to conduct unlawful intelligence activities, either against Sweden or against other countries.” They added that several houses were searched during the investigation and a third person had also been brought in for questioning by the police. 

Sharing details of the operation, head of the Swedish police national operative department, Stefan Hector said that the raid took place in the business south of Stockholm and took under a minute. He added that they had to be swift with their approach so that the suspects did not have time to “flush anything in the toilet or destroy computers.”

Furthermore, the Swedish Security Service in a statement, said that the main suspect had allegedly committed, “gross illegal intelligence activities against Sweden and against a foreign power.” However, they did not identify the second country which was allegedly spied on. The spy agency also said that the investigation has been going on for some time now. 

Meanwhile, media reports suggest that the duo was a married couple in their 60s. They were reportedly Russians who entered Sweden in the late 90s, said the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet. This comes days after two Iranian brothers were charged for allegedly spying for Russia in Sweden. One of the suspects had worked in the Swedish intelligence agency and the duo was charged with spying for Moscow’s military intelligence for nearly a decade. 

(With inputs from agencies) 

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