A Russian spy ring has been busted after its members were allegedly plotting arson, murder and sabotage on railway lines transporting weapons to Ukraine.
Moscow’s GRU, Russia's military intelligence service, reportedly recruited cash-strapped agents, including Ukrainian refugees, and had them doing everything from distributing propaganda to getting involved in a hit plot in Poland, The Sun reported.
Sources claim some agents even posed as tourists so they could clandestinely monitor ships in Poland, a port where an estimated 80% of donated Western weapons arrive.
Other agents on Moscow's payroll hid tracking devices in cargos bound for war-torn Ukraine, according to The Sun.
Officials said the accused agents — 12 Ukraine refugees and one Russian athlete — were mostly motivated by the promise of money.
A plot to derail a train carrying a cache of weapons, including tanks, was discovered when investigators stumbled upon a camera in leaves by the track, The Sun reported.
Polish spies swiftly moved in on the group and the first suspects were identified using cell phone data and call records, officials said.
The plan, which officials said “smacked of desperation,” resulted in over 400 Russian spies getting expelled from across Europe in the wake of Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s invasion.
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To find agents, the GRU reportedly relied on classified job ads and the messaging app Telegram, according to The Sun.
The GRU reportedly paid £10 — approximately around $12.50 — to fly-post propaganda and offered hundreds more to those willing to carry out arson or murder — criminal acts officials said never took place.
The news of the spy ring comes as UK police said five Bulgarian nationals, aged 29 to 45, were arrested and taken into custody on suspicion of spying for Russia.
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