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20/03/2023 | Greek authorities uncover identity of Russian spy who posed as Greek citizen

Joseph Fitsanakis

GREEK INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED late last week that they had uncovered the identity of a female Russian spy who lived in central Athens using a set of forged identity documents.

 

According to the Greek National Intelligence Service (NIS/EYP), the case is under investigation by several Western intelligence agencies. Additionally, there seems to be a connection with Brazil where the Russian spy’s husband lived until recently, using forged identity papers.

In an article published on Friday, the Greek daily Kathimerini, identified the woman as “Irena A.S.”. It said she had arrived in Greece from an unspecified Latin American country in 2018. Soon afterwards, she assumed a new cover identity, using the birth certificate of a Greek child named Maria Tsalla. The child is believed to have died in the northeastern Athens suburb of Marousi in December 1991, a few days after being born. According to the report, NIS/EYP officers discovered that the dead child’s archived death certificate in the Marousi town hall had been removed by persons unknown, giving officials the impression that Maria Tsalla was still alive.

Soon after assuming her cover identity, Irena A.S. registered herself as a resident of Aliveri, a largely rural municipality in the central Greek island of Euboea. Less than a year later, using the name Maria Tsalla, she opened a knitwear store in the central Athens neighborhood of Pagrati, where she also rented an apartment. It is believed that she had hired an employee and had a Greek boyfriend, none of whom were aware that she was not Greek. According to the article in Kathimerini, the NIS/EYP has yet to uncover evidence that Irena A.S. was in contact with officials at the Russian embassy in Athens (pictured).

For reasons that remain unclear, Irena A.S. left Greece in a hurry in January of this year, leaving behind most of her personal belongings. She eventually contacted her store and apartment landlords, informing them that she would not be returning to Greece due to some health issues. In the weeks that followed, she ensured that all of her financial obligations toward her landlords and employee were met. It is believed that Irena A.S.’s husband, also a Russian national, who lived in Brazil using forged cover credentials, and going by the cover name “Daniel Campos”, also disappeared in January of this year. It is highly likely that they have both returned to Russia, possibly under fear of their cover being blown.

Intelnews.org (Estados Unidos)

 



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