Authorities in Slovenia arrested two foreign nationals accused of spying for Russia, local media reported late Sunday.
The two suspects were citizens of an unnamed South American country and had assumed false identities in real estate and antiques trading, according to local newspaper Delo. They were arrested on December 5, 2022, in a rented office in Ljubljana’s Bežigrad district, according to the report.
“The District State Prosecutor’s Office in Ljubljana received a notification from the Slovenian Intelligence and Security Agency, on the basis of which pre-trial proceedings have been initiated,” Ljubljana prosecutor’s office told Slovenia news portal Siol. The prosecutor’s office said the legal proceedings were ongoing, and would not officially confirm the allegations.
The operation to nab the suspected spies, reportedly carried out by the Slovenian Intelligence and Security Agency, was undertaken in cooperation with other countries’ security services, as the spy cell was reportedly also carrying out operations outside of Slovenia.
Security services around Europe have cracked down on alleged Russian spies operating on the Continent in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Germany has made two arrests connected to espionage within their own foreign intelligence agency.