arrests suspected spies in mass raid


Swedish police have arrested two people on suspicion of espionage, the national security service SAPO announced on Tuesday. The suspects were apprehended in the Stockholm area during a pre-dawn operation, the agency said in a statement that gave few details about the case.

It stated that the operation, which included house searches, had been carried out in cooperation with the police and the Swedish armed forces. According to local media reports, citing eyewitnesses, at least two Black Hawk helicopters were deployed to the area to rappel elite police officers.

One of the arrested persons is charged with “gross illegal intelligence activity against Sweden and against a foreign power”, while the second is suspected of “complicity” in such activities. The authorities have not disclosed the nationalities of the suspects or specified which ones “foreign power” they were allegedly spying.

However, local media suggested that Moscow may have been involved in the affair, reporting that the suspects were actually a couple in their 60s who had moved to the country from Russia in the late 1990s.

Authorities stressed that the arrests were made following an investigation that had taken place “has been going on for a while” and were not linked to other pending cases in Sweden.

Earlier this month, two Iranian-born brothers were charged in Sweden “heavy espionage”, allegedly spied for Russia and its military intelligence, commonly known in the West by its old initialism, the GRU.

The brothers, one of whom reportedly worked for SAPO itself, reportedly spied for Moscow for a decade before being arrested in September and November last year. Both have reportedly denied any allegations.

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