FBI: We Found Three Russian Spies In New York City

PutinMaxim Shipenkov/ReutersRussian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev at the Kremlin in Moscow, December 22, 2014.

The FBI announced on Monday that it had busted a Russian spy ring.

According to a federal complaint filed by FBI special agent Gregory Monaghan in a Manhattan federal court on Friday, an alleged spy, Evgeny Buryakov, posed as a banker in the New York office of an unnamed Russian bank. However, Monaghan said Buryakov (a.k.a. “Zhenya”) was actually on “deep cover” and working for Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service to gather intelligence and transmit it back to Moscow. 

The complaint also alleges that Buryakov helped “formulating questions to be used for intelligence-gathering purposes by others associated with a leading Russian-state-owned news organisation.” Additionally, the complaint said Buryakov worked with two other men who were involved in intelligence gathering activities for the Foreign Intelligence Service (also known as the SVR) — Victor Podobnyy and Igor Sporyshev.

In a statement, Assistant Attorney General John Carlin said Buryakov was attempting to get “economic and other intelligence information.”

“The attempt by foreign nations to illegally gather economic and other intelligence information in the United States through covert agents is a direct threat to the national security of the United States, and it exemplifies why counterespionage is a top priority of the National Security Division,” Carlin said.

Authorities said two other individuals were also members of the “spy ring” arrested Monday: Igor Sporyshev and Victor Podobnyy. Sporyshev worked as a trade representative of the Russian Federation in New York and Podobnyy served as an attaché to the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, according to the Justice Department.

This post is being updated.

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