Dutch diplomat arrested for spying for Russia

Anna ChapmanBy JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Authorities in Holland have arrested a Dutch diplomat who is said to have worked for the same Russian intelligence unit that handled a group of Russian sleeper agents captured in the United States in 2010. The 60-year-old diplomat, who has been publicly identified only as Raymond P., was arrested over the weekend in The Hague following an extensive investigation by German counterintelligence. According to German newsmagazine Focus, which first aired the story on Saturday, the diplomat is believed to have given nearly 500 classified documents to Andreas and Heidrun Anschlag, two Russian intelligence officers operating in Germany. The Anschlags, who are married to each other, and are believed to be Mexican-born, were arrested in October of 2011 in the university town of Marburg in central Germany. They are thought to have moved to Germany from Mexico in 1990, using false Austrian passports supplied to them by the SVR, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service. At the time of the Anschlags’ arrest, Russian media claimed that the couple had “effectively retired” from the SVR several years ago and were being utilized mostly as message couriers. It now appears that Raymond P. was one of their informants, and that the three operated as part of the same espionage ring in Germany. Interestingly, the Anschlags were also said to be in frequent contact with Russian intelligence agent Anna Chapman (pictured), who was arrested by the FBI in the US in 2010. Chapman was part of a group of 11 Russian sleeper agents who were arrested on the same day by the FBI, and were later expelled to Russia. This connection has led some commentators to wonder whether Colonel Alexander Poteyev, the Russian intelligence officer who betrayed the Russian illegals in the United States, is also responsible for the capture of the Anschlags and, consequently, last weekend’s capture of Raymond P. in Holland. Last July, Poteyev was given a 25-year prison sentence by a Russian court for exposing the 11 Russian operatives. The sentence was delivered in absentia, as Poteyev is believed to have defected to the US, where he probably lives today under an assumed identity. German media reports that Raymond P. is so far refusing all cooperation with German and Dutch interrogators, and has declined several opportunities to make a statement to the investigators handing his case.

14 Responses to Dutch diplomat arrested for spying for Russia

  1. The Anschlags received their messages from Moscow using a system known as ‘Radiogramma.’ Consisting of twenty tones the messages were sent at 0440/0500/0520UTC Tuesday and Thursday. At the time of their arrest Tuesday 18 Oct 2011 Heidrun was in the process of receiving a 777 group message that took 10m28s to send. The next scheduled message Thursday 20th October 2011 was a null message, but the next two, sent on 25th and 27th Oct 2011, were full messages: 583 and 367 groups log respectively. After that the schedules sent nothing but Null messages until the 7th June 2012 when the schedules closed.

    One has to ask who the recipient was for the two messages; I suspect the diplomat who has recently been arrested.

    However, another station an early morning voice station that started 759 759 759 and sent a message usually between 30 and 40 groups long on Saturday mornings at 0030 and 0130UTC, repeating Sunday mornings suddenly closed on 16th June; despite regular searches it has not yet been found.

    So who has been arrested this time; or again, was it this diplomat?

  2. Pete says:

    With attention getting “hot looking” illegals like Chapman and receiving messages up to 10m28s (not exactly burst) no wonder these Russkies are being caught.

  3. Pete, it doesn’t have to be a burst message. It doesn’t even matter if the sending end is RDF’d because the whereabouts of the recipient will never be found. Listening to a radio leaves no trace.

    The reason the Chapman group of illegals, the Anschlungs and now this diplomat have been arrested is because they were dobbed in by a defector.

  4. Pete says:

    Thanks for the clarifications Paul.


  5. intelNews says:

    @Paul: In my initial report about the Anschlags’ arrest back in 2011, I mentioned the debate taking place among intelligence observers about why some of these spies (the Anschlags, the Myers, and others) insist on using radio messaging, as opposed to using the Internet. You seem to know a lot about the technical side of this, so have you any thoughts on the subject? [JF]

  6. Yes, indeed. The reason for using radio messaging is that it leaves absolutely no trace as to whom the recipient of the message is.

    For instance, tonight I received a full 70 group message repeated on three frequencies at 1700/1720/1740z.. I am not the expected recipient but the sending end will know that others will pick their schedule up [including GCHQ, NSA to name a few agencies world wide with an interest].

    To stop any common knowledge of the message content the means to encrypt and decode the message, probably a one time pad [or computer program] will exist in two copies only; that with the originator and that with the expected recipient. If total radio tradecraft is followed scrupulously then the message will remain unbreakable.

    If you look at Ana Belen Montes or Alvarez, they both used a bespoke computer program to decode instead of the one time pad. They followed tradecraft but what never occured to them was that when the FBI carried out a forensic analysis on the Hard Disk Drives they discovered the damning fragments that had not been wiped.

    What is interesting is that another Cuban spy, Myers, received his instructions in Morse from his Cuban masters. The Cuban DGI uses cut numbers that convert to 1234567890 from ANDUWRIGMT. There is the possibility of a computer using a bespoke program for conversion or its done by hand. Either way, each transmission, like its voice counterpart has three message headers, that might or might not be valid messages; there is an indicator for the recipient as to whether they should bother to take down almost 15 mins of medium fast Morse or not.

    You can see from my description that all the work, and the risk of getting caught, is with the recipient of the message.
    I suspect that the GSG9 raid was timed to catch Heidrun at her receiver, just as the Special Branch raid on Erwin van Haarlem aka Vaclav Jelinek in North London
    However, both were shopped by a defector – there was no detection because of radio messages.

    I’ve no idea how the Anschlags made their replies but Montes used pager numbers, but again without a script anyone intercepting the pager message would not know what it is.

    Myers, on the other hand used the internet to make his reply to his Cuban masters; I have no idea how he was caught but I’m sure his communications with Cuba were noticed.
    Any internet communication can eventually be completely traced with the idents placed upon it as it goes through servers and so on.

    al Qaida use enhanced public key encryption but they issue warnings to the users not to be specific since they are aware that its only a matter of time for a code to be broken and the location of receiving computers [complete with IP address] to be made. That is why the internet should not be used for communicating with agents.

    Try tracking a radio receiver —- can’t be done. [Well techniques exist but you have to know where the receiver is in the first place to use them].

  7. Peter Wallerberger says:

    Interesting comment Mr Beaumont, keep up the good work !!

    I recently spoke with one of the survivors of a WWII incident
    known to many as “operation English Spiel” – he too is
    adamant that the use of ‘one time cipher pads’ is unbreakable,
    provideing of course those involved maintain discipline.
    (in this particular case – the receiver (MI6) was suspected
    to be ‘compromised’. Once again exposure of a network
    due to human failure)

    I myself would tend to be more interested in those makeing the
    transmission rather than the destination as “by the end of
    the day the rest will all come out in the washing !!!”
    (unless of course like operation English Spiel – you have
    the British government suppressing the truth, in which case
    no one is ever going to learn what really happened)

  8. Thank you Peter. I can’t accept that an interest in the sender should be greater. Once you know that a message that you can’t break is sent say every third Tuesday at 0600z and is very strong signal wise anything else is an added bonus.

    The language of the message doesn’t give any clues as to the ethnicity of the recipient, or the sender [with some exceptions, such as the Cubans who use Spanish ad infinitum].

    You do know the signal is aimed at a particular country though, which is a bonus because agents don’t have antennae that would make GCHQ jealous; they use the radio’s whip antenna or a wire across a room, no more.

    There are other ways of sending messages too. Pre arranged music used to be played on Radio Moscow to indicate to a particular agent which dead letter box to service, or whatever. You won’t know about that method until the recipient is arrested.

    As for secrecy Her Majesty’s Government are past masters at this; it’s not a bad thing as recent events have proven.

    Take for instance the liquid bomb plot [August 2006] that was running in the UK; all those taking a flight were affected. Personally I was stuck in Guyana, trying to get to Trinidad for a connection to London so I could get to Hungary six days later and was outside the US Embassy in Georgetown when I was warned of events on my cellphone.

    Such was the immediate effect that when I attended the Georgetown offices of my carrier [ten minutes later] I found them closed with an armed guard on the door. I was admitted and received a full sitrep but other pax elsewhere were not so lucky and were left to their own devices.

    Why was world aviation in turmoil? The answer was lack of secrecy and not at the British end.

    The hands of the British Police were forced by one US General, Michael Hayden who from the British point of view interfered with a pre arrest investigation that was properly controlled and which maintained a constant surveillance on those involved. His interference was in another country with a suspect known to the subjects in Britain.

    It seemed things were not moving fast enough for the US and the untimely intervention prevented a more satisfactory ending and nearly tipped off the targets of the surveillance.

    Such being the effects of secrecy.

    As I’ve typed this I’m listening to a Morse station that has been sending 555 since 0654z, on two frequencies, one which started late and which the initial transmission ran on low power for 6 mins because the op at the sending end left his transmitter in the tune up mode.

  9. Pete says:


    Regarding the liquid bomb plot [August 2006] I also recall that the (well-earned) flagging popularity of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) prompted the head of DHS to paint the liquid bomb plot as a DHS-MI5 operation.

    The very fact of DHS breaking good, vigilant news almost lifted DHS’ ineffectual reputation.

  10. I shouldn’t make a comment here Peter, but well said.

    From my point of view the operation started as a British security services op with the usual specialist aid from police. International courtesy demanded that the US were informed and things went down the pan from that point.

    From the recent documentary I wasn’t aware that anyone but Michael Hayden had pushed things; I certainly didn’t think the DHS had moved beyond its remit. Michael Chertoff seemed a knowledgeable and ‘you can work with me’ type rather than a ‘This is a US led op when its not’ sort of bloke.

    Mind you, an American was telling me how the US invented the Hovercraft and Jump Jet last week. He wasn’t best pleased when I told him to research Saunders Rowe, the flying bedstead and the P1127.

  11. Peter Wallerberger says:

    Paul – Ref: your transmission intercept on dual frequencies the initial transimssion that lasted
    for 6 minutes !! Surely no radio operator in their right mind would do this ?? I mean – theres
    only three or four reasons someone ‘ in the espionage world’ would do such a thing ??
    assumeing he values his life >>

    I’m not a trained Techo so it just seems odd to me – unless of course what you are picking up
    is a ham radio operator useing morse or a low security communications transmission ??
    Possibly even a repiditave equipment test on an aviation VOR or NDB beacon ??

    Any competant agency could trace this RF source within 6 minutes anywhere in the world..

  12. Not at all Peter; What you don’t know is that the start time for this station is currently 0701z, the op made a mistake. At the end, 0716z all was quiet until 0718z when the op sent four tones, two very short, two long. Perhaps transmitter trouble. The message was likely to be a null message sending only 555 for its duration.

    As for tracing, or RDF to be correct, you haven’t read my comments above [27/07 1709]. In this context [sent from another country] it doesn’t matter if they know where it comes from – it matters where it is being received and finding the recipient is virtually impossible where radio is concerned.

  13. Is this diplomat is the same Raymond Poeteray who was arrested in March 2012? He was apparently laundering money given to him by Russia in Casinos and phone shops.
    Allegedly he also had a Glock 35 handgun in his possession. No mention of espionage. [Was in the Dutch newspaper ‘Telegraaf – info courtesy PS].

  14. Peter Wallerberger says:

    Quite possible Paul, but his full identity still remains to be publicly confirmed by the Government
    who right now will be in ‘ serious damage control’ …. & not just limited to NATO secrets..

    You may wish to read the Intertass news ( & other publications) regarding this particular
    ‘diplomat’s’ career – it reads like a horror story, included in which was an incident whereby
    he and his wife dumped an adopted (south korean) daughter they had looked after for
    6 years yet never registered her as a dutch citizen.
    There is also reference to 90,000 Euros in payments for betraying his countrys secrets
    to the Russians for years.If this is not related to espionage then I don’t know what is !!

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