Sweden, hunt for spies: two brothers of Iranian origin indicted, suspected of being Russian agents

The case occurs in a phase in which the intelligence services are the protagonists of the dialogue between the superpowers. The betrayal would begin in 2011 and continue until 2021 when the couple was arrested

A long hunt for indict two Swedish brothers accused of being spies for Moscow. A case that occurs in a phase in which intelligence agencies are the protagonists of the dialogue among the superpowers. To the point that the expert Rob Lee of King’s College London suggests that in the Russian field the role of the head of the external service, Sergei Naryshkin, is superior to that of the minister Sergey Lavrov because he has Putin’s imprimatur: it is no coincidence that he met the head of the CIA Burns on Monday in Ankara.

The story in Sweden, a frontline country, unfolds following the moves of Payam Kia, 35, and his brother Peyman, 42. Of Iranian origin, they became citizens in 1994, pursuing various careers. The youngest, after a period in the army, joined the secret services, the Sapo, where he held important positions and maintained relations with friendly foreign structures. But, according to the judiciary, became a mole for GRU, Russia’s military intelligence. Peyman worked alongside him in the role of courier, in charge of passing documents and other to the contacts. The treason allegedly started in 2011 to continue until 2021 when the couple was arrested: now, if convicted, they risk life imprisonment. A large time window during which the two must have made a good harvest.

Even if their activity had not gone unnoticed by counterintelligence: a preliminary investigation had already been launched in 2017. Payam only stayed in the security establishment for a couple of yearsformally leaving the office in 2015, a change tied to a new job with the food agency. A professional turning point perhaps due to the attention of investigators, certain of the existence of a mole able to get their hands on confidential dossiers, to intercept sensitive files concerning their own country but also relations with allies.

The story adds to those of other infiltrators discovered in Europe. After the invasion of Ukraine, Western counterintelligence tightened the sieve for locate men and women of the Gru. Some present under the traditional diplomatic cover, others active as illegal, with false identities, unsuspected jobs, skilled in building bonds in the most varied environments. Often simple collectors of relationships. They invested in friendships, acquaintances, looking for news but also human weaknesses. Those points of attack in a person’s profile useful for possible blackmail, to offer money, to get someone to cooperate. We can help you solve your problems, recruiter phrase, quick to offer cash, shortcuts, solutions and rewards. A snare from which it is difficult to break free.

November 15, 2022 (change November 15, 2022 | 19:10)

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Sweden, hunt for spies: two brothers of Iranian origin indicted, suspected of being Russian agents

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