Netherlands says Russian spy caught seeking war crimes court internship

AMSTERDAM – The Dutch intelligence service stated on Thursday it had uncovered a Russian navy agent trying to make use of a false id to infiltrate the Worldwide Legal Court docket (ICC) which is investigating accusations of conflict crimes in Ukraine.

Sergey Vladimirovich Cherkasov created an elaborate cowl story relationship again years to try to enter the Netherlands as a Brazilian nationwide for an internship on the Hague-based ICC in April, the company’s head instructed Reuters.

“This was a long-term, multi-year GRU operation that value a variety of time, vitality and cash,” stated Dutch intelligence company chief Erik Akerboom, utilizing the acronym for Russia’s navy intelligence service.

No GRU consultant may very well be instantly reached for remark, although President Vladimir Putin’s authorities has up to now regularly denied spying accusations as a Western smear marketing campaign in opposition to Moscow.

A general view shows the headquarters of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, formerly known as the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), in Moscow, Russia October 4, 2018.
The HQ of the Primary Directorate of the Basic Workers of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, previously referred to as the Primary Intelligence Directorate (GRU), in Moscow, Russia October 4, 2018.

The Dutch Basic Intelligence and Safety Service (AIVD) stated in a press release that the person, who glided by the alias Viktor Muller Ferreira, was picked up at a Dutch airport. He was declared an undesirable alien and placed on the subsequent flight again to Brazil, it added.

Brazil’s federal police stated Cherkasov was taken into custody and is being prosecuted for the usage of false paperwork.

“It clearly reveals us what the Russians are as much as – attempting to realize unlawful entry to data throughout the ICC. We classify this as a high-level menace,” Akerboom added, saying the ICC had accepted him for an internship.

There was no fast touch upon the case from the Russian authorities or the ICC.

The Dutch company stated it had taken the weird step of releasing detailed data on the case to show the workings of Russian intelligence and menace to different worldwide establishments.

It distributed a four-page doc outlining what it stated was Cherkasov’s invented cowl story. That included supposed troubled household historical past and particulars from a membership the place he appreciated to take heed to digital trance music and his favourite restaurant in Brasilia the place he would eat low-cost brown bean stew.

“Cherkasov used a well-constructed cowl id by which he hid all his ties with Russia generally, and the GRU particularly,” the assertion stated.

Brazilian police stated Cherkasov entered Brazil in 2010 and assumed the false id of a Brazilian whose dad and mom had died. Passing for a Brazilian, he lived in Eire and the USA for a number of years, the police assertion stated and had returned to Brazil to organize his transfer to the Netherlands.

The ICC, a everlasting world conflict crimes tribunal with 123 member states, opened an investigation in Ukraine simply days after Putin despatched his troops in on Feb. 24. It’s analyzing allegations of conflict crimes, crimes in opposition to humanity, and genocide.

The Dutch have expelled greater than 20 Russians accused of spying in recent times.

They embrace 4 folks accused in 2018 of hacking the Group for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), two accused of spying within the company, high-tech sector in 2020, and 17 suspected operatives accredited as diplomats who have been thrown out after this 12 months’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia has denied all the costs and responded to the most recent expulsions by additionally kicking out 15 Dutch embassy and consulate employees from Moscow and St. Petersburg.

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