Estonian authorities have evidence which proves that the 20-year-old Russian citizen arrested at the Narva border checkpoint earlier this month on suspicions of espionage has ties to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), a Ministry of the Interior official said.
The biggest value of detaining the agent of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), Alexei Vasilyev, who is suspected of preparing for a computer-related crime is that his ties to FSB were proven, Ministry of the Interior Deputy Secretary General for Internal Security Policy Erkki Koort told the website geenius.ee.
"He was not just an e-punk; it was an attempt by another country to enter our information system," he added.
"In 2007, when there were cyber attacks against Estonia, we did not manage to put anyone on trial," Koort recalled, referring to events taking place around the Bronze Night. "The fact is that these attacks were caused by a state. Now, ten years laer, it has been proven that a foreign country's secial service used an agent in order for him to break into Estonia's computer system while in Estonia."
Arrested at Estonian-Russian border
On Nov. 4, officials of the Estonian Internal Security Service (ISS) arrested a Russian citizen on his way to Russia at the Narva border checkpoint as a suspected FSB agent. A court in Tallinn took Vasilyev, 20, into custody at the prosecutor's request last Monday.
Vasilyev is suspected of a non-violent offense against the Estonian state as an FSB agent as well as of preparing for a computer-related crime. According to the Office of the Prosecutor General, the target of his activities were Estonian state institutions.
According to State Prosecutor Inna Ombler, who is leading the criminal investigation, allegations of a criminal offense against the state are serious.
"Acting against the Republic of Estonia as an agent of the special service of a foreign country is without a doubt a serious crime, and we will figure out all the essential facts as soon as possible," Ombler confirmed. "Right now, we can say without releasing any details that greater damage was prevented."
The criminal investigation launched regarding the matter is being led by the Office of the Prosecutor General and conducted by the ISS.
Editor: Aili Vahtla