Two alleged industrial spies held in RussiaMarch 21st, 2008 - 4:00 pm ICT by admin
Moscow, March 21 (RIA Novosti) Russia’s domestic security service has detained two men with dual Russian-US citizenships for alleged industrial espionage. The Federal Security Service (FSS) Thursday said its officers detained Ilya Zaslavsky, known to have links with the British Council here, and his brother Alexander March 12, for “illegally gathering secret commercial information”.
Zaslavsky was an employee of the Russian oil firm TNK-BP, jointly owned by British Petroleum (BP).
The British Council, British Embassy’s cultural arm, said Zaslavsky was not on its staff but was an important partner as a member of the embassy’s alumni club for Russian graduates of British universities.
On Wednesday, police seized documents from the central office of the TNK-BP, one of the largest crude producers in Russia. The Moscow office of British oil major BP was also raided by police.
Security officials said during searches they found copies of official documents, papers on oil and gas production believed to contain a commercial secret, and ID cards belonging to foreign military organisations and to the CIA.
The British Council, whose regional offices in Russia were closed down earlier this year, voiced its concern over the arrests.