BELGRADE – Operatives of the Security Information Agency (BIA), in cooperation with colleagues from the Serbian Interior Ministry detained a few days ago a high official of the Criminal Police Directorate (UKP). He is suspected of leaking classified information to the CIA officers who are serving in the US Embassy in Belgrade, unofficially learned Serbian daily “Novosti”.
Citing well-informed sources, the police officer is suspected of regularly reporting to the Americans activities of the office of the Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic, change in the personnel, the state in the service and police actions in the field.
“The information collected he transmitted through direct contact with CIA operatives. So, it is a classic intelligence work, and the suspect has long been under surveillance,” says the source.
The source of the daily also claims that there is reasonable doubt that some other citizens of Serbia are involved in this chain of espionage and that counter-intelligence activities will not end only in this case. Also, contacts with other intelligence services are being checked, not only with US, and soon more arrests can be expected.
This is, in a short time, another action of detection of persons who were recruited by a foreign intelligence service in Serbia. In early September members of BIA arrested a Serbian citizen Cedo Colovic, who was recruited by Croatian intelligence service. He pleaded guilty and cut a deal with the prosecution to be three years in prison.
Our security services uncovered the names, and even phone numbers of Croatian operatives who recruited and maintained contact with Colovic. Secret recordings were made, currently in possession of BIA, which confirm Colovic’s contact with operatives from the Croatian Center of Security Intelligence Agency Zadar (Department of Sibenik).
“Colovic case is a classic example of how offensive is acted towards our citizens and institutions and how, through threats with certain charges, they are forced to treason,” said the source for the daily.
In this case, says the source, one must raise the awareness of our citizens that the espionage is a serious criminal offence and that all engaged in it have to be aware that there is high degree of probability that they will be discovered and prosecuted.
According the operative data of Serbian intelligence agency in our country currently “operate” between 100 ad 150 agents, who for the purposes of their countries daily, publicly or secretly, gather information. Of the 20 most powerful intelligence agencies, currently active in Serbia, the “most aggressive ones” are German (BND), English (MI6), as well as the agency of the United States (CIA).
However, the number of those from the Middle East – Iran, Turkey but also the territory of Kosovo is increasing. In addition, Croatians, Slovenians and Bosnians are operating too.
“The focus of their attention are arming of army, arrangement of military forces and activities of Russian humanitarian center in Nis” says Momir Stojaovic, former director of the Military Security Agency (VBA).
The latest arrest does not represent a true “movie” espionage, dealt by professional intelligence officers, but that this was a field information gathering of so-called tertiary character. They, although not first-class state secrets, depending on the use, can greatly affect the relations between states.
Every intelligence service has at its disposal a circle of associates, distant from the true intelligence work. Their task is, according to daily’s sources, to gather information that at first glance do not have close ties with the current government policy of the country for which they work.