A Russian spy suspect arrested in Cyprus and granted bail has gone missing, police say.
Christopher Metsos was held at the Mediterranean island’s Larnaca airport on Tuesday by immigration officers after an Interpol alert.
He is one of 11 people at the centre of an FBI spying investigation – the others are being questioned in the US.
A Canadian citizen, he was awaiting extradition to America on suspicion of espionage and money laundering.
Mr Metsos had been staying alone at a hotel in Larnaca for nearly two weeks and was said by local media to have been carrying a US passport.
He is depicted by US prosecutors as the alleged spy ring’s shadowy moneyman, visiting the US as early as 2004 to deliver bags of cash to its members.
The 11 were allegedly part of an operation where agents posed as ordinary citizens, some living together as couples for years. In security circles such agents are known as “illegals” or “sleepers”.
They were trained by the SVR Russian intelligence agency to infiltrate policy-making circles and collect information, according to papers filed in New York.
Investigators say some of the agents had been using false identities since the early 1990s, using codes and engaging in advanced computer operations, including posting apparently innocent pictures on the internet which contained hidden text.
Source : BBC