COPENHAGEN (HPD) — The Russian embassy in the Norwegian capital denied knowledge of a Brazilian man suspected of espionage on Wednesday, saying authorities in the Nordic country have fueled “espionage mania” with sightings of drones and ships, as well as of Russians with cameras.
The 37-year-old Brazilian, who worked at a university in the northern city of Tromsoe, was arrested on Monday. The police accused him of using a false identity and working for a Russian intelligence service.
The Russian embassy assured that “it does not know who or what it is about.”
“Anything that is Russian, be it public agencies, private companies or individuals, is suspicious and smacks of espionage,” the diplomatic mission said in an email. “It is not by chance that different themes appear as if on a conveyor belt. This is all for political reasons.
The Norwegian security service identified the detainee as a “Brazilian researcher” at the Norwegian Arctic University in Tromsoe. A university administrator said that he was a visiting professor. A court ordered him to be detained for four weeks.
Recently, Norwegian authorities, a NATO member state and a major oil and gas producer, have reported sightings of drones near offshore facilities in the North Sea. Russian citizens have been briefly detained for flying drones or taking photos of off limits,
“Recently, the espionage mania has been actively promoted in Norway,” the Russian embassy said.