'Putin spy' arrested at Gatwick after MI5 and counterterrorism investigation

15 June 2022, 10:23

A Russian man has been arrested at Gatwick airport on suspicion of spying for the regime of Vladimir Putin
A Russian man has been arrested at Gatwick airport on suspicion of spying for the regime of Vladimir Putin. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

A Russian man has been arrested at Gatwick airport on suspicion of spying for the regime of Vladimir Putin.

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The man who is in his 40s was detained as he attempted to board an international flight, but police will not reveal where the suspect was set to travel to.

Officers transported the suspect to Hammersmith police station where he remains in custody.

The arrest was carried out after a joint investigation conducted by the Met's SO15 counterterrorism unit and MI5

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "We can confirm that officers from the Met's Counter Terrorism Command arrested a man in his 40s at Gatwick Airport on Monday 13 June on suspicion of offences under Section One of the Official Secrets Act 1911.

"He has been taken to a London police station, where he currently remains in police custody. Inquiries continue."

Section One of the Act relates to information contained within notes, plans or sketches which may be useful to an enemy.

One source told The Sun Online: "The suspect is believed to have been in the UK spying on behalf of the Putin regime. He was kept under observation and arrested as he arrived at Gatwick to try and fly out of the country."

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On Wednesday Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said further artillery support for Ukraine will be discussed by members today, while Russia indicated it would be willing to consider a UK appeal over the fate of two Britons sentenced to death.

Mr Stoltenberg told reporters at The Hague: "Ukraine should have more heavy weapons. And Nato allies and partners have provided heavy weapons for a long time, but they are also stepping up."

He added the matter will be addressed on Wednesday in Brussels at the Nato headquarters of the contact group for support to Ukraine, saying: "(Ukrainians) need to be prepped for the long haul, as there is no way to predict how and when this war will end."

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It comes after a Kremlin spokesman said Moscow would be willing to listen to London regarding the cases of two Britons sentenced to death for fighting Russian forces in Ukraine.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said she will do "whatever is necessary" to secure the release of Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, saying on Tuesday the Government is "working flat out" to secure their release after their "sham" trial by a pro-Moscow proxy.

But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said neither Moscow nor the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine who passed the sentence had heard from London on the issue.