Suspected Russian spy arrested at Gatwick Airport

Man is accused of spying in Britain for Russian President Vladimir Putin

Armed police officers at Gatwick Airport in London, on March 27. Getty
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A man has been arrested by counter-terror police in England on suspicion of spying for Russia.

The suspect, in his 40s, was detained by the Metropolitan Police at Gatwick Airport in West Sussex on Monday evening.

The Sun newspaper reported that the man is accused of spying in Britain for Russian President Vladimir Putin, and was due to catch an outbound flight when he was arrested.

The arrest followed an investigation involving MI5 and the Metropolitan Police.

"We can confirm that officers from the Met's Counter Terrorism Command arrested a man in his 40s at Gatwick Airport on Monday, June 13, on suspicion of offences under Section 1 of the Official Secrets Act 1911," a Scotland Yard spokesman said.

"He has been taken to a London police station, where he currently remains in police custody. Inquiries continue."

Section 1 of the Act relates to information contained in notes, plans or sketches that may be useful to an enemy.

The incident comes at a time when tension is heightened between the UK and Russia, after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

On Tuesday, Russia expanded a list of British nationals now banned from entering the country, which includes journalists, politicians and defence chiefs.

The relationship between the two countries hit a historic low after the poisoning of former Russian security officer Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006, and the attempted killing of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter with a nerve agent in Salisbury in 2018.

Updated: June 15, 2022, 7:29 PM