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Russian spy detained for trying to enter Dutch war crimes court, sent back to Brazil

A Russian military agent appears to have used a false identity to infiltrate the International Criminal Court (ICC) based in The Hague, the Dutch intelligence service announced on Thursday. The ICC investigates allegations of war crimes around the world. An elaborate and lengthy cover story was created by Sergey Vladimirovich Cherkasov for seeking to enter the Netherlands for an internship at the ICC as a Brazilian national, the agency’s chief told Reuters. The head of the Dutch intelligence agency, Erik Akerboom, said: “This was a long-term, multi-year GRU operation which cost a lot of time, energy and money.” GRU is Russia’s military intelligence service.

In a statement, the Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) said the man, whose name was Viktor Muller Ferreira, was arrested at a Dutch airport. He was put on the next flight back to Brazil after being declared an undesirable alien, he added.

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In Brazil, Cherkasov was taken into custody and prosecuted for using false documents, federal police said. “It clearly shows us what the Russians are doing – trying to gain illegal access to information within the ICC. We classify this as a high-level threat,” Akerboom added.

“Cherkasov used a well-constructed cover identity by which he concealed all his ties to Russia in general, and the GRU in particular,” the statement said.

(With agency contributions)

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Post expires at 6:56am on Monday June 27th, 2022