Alleged spy at British embassy in Berlin aroused suspicion by not using bank account

British embassy BerlinAn employee of the British embassy in Berlin, who was arrested last week on suspicion of spying for Russia, drew the attention of the authorities after he stopped using his bank account, according to reports. The man, who was arrested on August 10 by Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), has been identified in German media as David Smith, 57. His arrest is believed to have come as a result of a joint investigation by British and German authorities.

Smith is a longtime resident of Potsdam, a city located southeast of Berlin, and was married for 20 years to a woman from Ukraine, who is believed to have Russian heritage. According to some reports, however, his wife has not been living with him for some time. It has also been reported that Smith had been working for the British embassy in Berlin “for three or four years” in the period leading up to his arrest last week. It is also believed that he had previously served in the Royal Air Force and the Germany Guard Service (GGS). The latter is a joint British-German civilian volunteer force with roots in the Cold War, which provides security support to British Forces stationed in Germany.

Last week, several German news outlets said that Smith first aroused suspicions among British and German counterintelligence experts, after they noticed that he had not made use of his debit or credit cards for several months. His sudden lack of withdrawals from his bank accounts caused them to think that may have secured a cash-based source of income —possibly from a foreign intelligence agency. Citing anonymous intelligence officials, German media report that Smith passed on “low-grade information” to his Russian handlers, including lists of names of visitors to the British embassy. He was arrested, however, after British and German authorities allegedly feared that he was preparing to give Moscow more sensitive information in his possession.

Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 16 August 2021 | Permalink

3 Responses to Alleged spy at British embassy in Berlin aroused suspicion by not using bank account

  1. Anonymous says:

    Have you ever thought that after a breakup a man no longer has to pay bills for his ex?

  2. Iconoclast XIII says:

    To state the obvious, tradecraft so pathetic as to invite suspicions. Cue James J Angleton…

  3. Pete says:

    Sorry Joseph

    I incorrectly put the following comment below an earlier IntelNews article on the same subject, which was “Employee of British embassy in Berlin charged with spying for Russia” of August 12, 2021 at https://intelnews.org/2021/08/12/01-3054/
    ———-

    Now my comment below makes more relevant sense:

    “Its good that the British and German security authorities combined their investigations so successfully. Even under the one government organizations can refuse to compare notes – like lack of CIA communications with the FBI, pre 9/11.

    Unexplained wealth is an easy one to miss. The CIA’s Aldrich Ames spent big on an average salary for ages before being noticed – see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldrich_Ames#CIA_response .

    I’m guessing the rapid collapse of Afghan Government forces against the Taliban will cause considerable soul searching and finger pointing at Langley and DoD. The security implications are dire. There is a likelihood Afghanistan will again host AQ and now IS terrorism schools with bomb making classes for use against targets in the West. This is especially against Western airports, passenger aircraft, trains, buses, tourist sites and surprises.

    Pete

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