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“WSJ”: Brazil could be a paradise for Russian spies

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Russian spies operating in the United States and Norway, among others, use illegally obtained Brazilian passports. In Brazil, authorities are investigating whether Moscow is using the country as an incubator for secret agents who will infiltrate the West, the Wall Street Journal writes on Sunday.

IN Norway a man identified by the authorities as Mikhail Mikushin was arrested in October and charged with espionage. At the time, he was working as a researcher at the University of Tromsoe under the Brazilian name Jose Assis Giammaria.

“WSJ”: Brazil could be a paradise for Russian spiesgustavomellossa/Shutterstock

Brazilian services, investigating Mikuszyn’s new identity, reached Padre Bernardo, a city with a population of 30,000. inhabitants in the state of Goias in the central Brazil. The municipal archive lists Jose Assis Giammaria as born in November 1984, the son of an Italian businessman and school employee in Rio de Janeiro.

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One official told the WSJ that the real Giammaria is dead.

A known identity theft scheme

According to investigators, the use of illegally obtained birth certificates is a known pattern of identity theft and espionage in Brazil, as with only a birth certificate, an identity card and passport can be obtained there.

Rio de Janeiro dmitry_islentev/Shutterstock

Another Russian with a fake Brazilian identity, Sergei Cherkasov, is in prison in Brazil and faces charges of espionage in the United States. Dutch authorities detained him in 2022 when he was allegedly trying to infiltrate International Criminal Court as an intern.

Read also: Former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro banned from holding public office until 2030

According to the US indictment, Cherkasov illegally obtained the Brazilian birth certificate of Victor Muller Ferreira, who was born in April 1989, and used it to obtain other false identity documents, building a double life in Brazil for several years.

According to the “WSJ”, Moscow denied that Russian agents were secretly operating in Brazil, Norway or elsewhere.

Main photo source: gustavomellossa/Shutterstock

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