The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has arrested a Russian citizen in the Bronx, New York, for allegedly gathering economic intelligence and trying to recruit other New York residents to partake in part of becoming a spy.
In a complaint released Monday by the FBI, a man, Evgeny Buryakov, posing as a Manhattan banker conspired with two others to collect and transmit economic information back to the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation,the SVR.
The FBI notified the public Monday on Twitter, writing:
Just in: FBI arrests Russian spy in the Bronx who was part of ring attempting to collect economic intelligence & recruit #NYC residents
— FBI New York (@NewYorkFBI) January 26, 2015
Three individuals were named in the official complaint, including 39-year-old Evgeny Buryakov, who is also referred to as “Zhenya” in the federal complaint, 40-year-old Igor Sporyshev, and 27-year-old Victor Podobnyy. The two latter individuals are no longer in the United States and are protected by diplomatic immunity from arrest and prosecution in the U.S. due to their prior positions.
Sporyshev was named to be a Russian trade representative while Podobnyy was said to be unofficially attached to the Russian embassy.
Sporyshev and Podobnyy were accused of being responsible for relaying intelligence assignments and transmitting intelligence reports prepared by Buryakov back to SVR headquarters in Moscow, the FBI complaint states.
Included in the charges against the men allegedly trying to recruit New-York residents to be apart of an intelligence source for Russia, federal judges also accused the trio of gathering intelligence related to “potential United States sanctions against Russian banks and the United States’ efforts to develop alternative energy resources.”
According to the FBI, Buryakov was in the United States under “non official cover,” meaning he was working as a private citizen in the banking sector and violated federal law by never identifying himself as a secret agent apart of the Russian Federation.
“These charges demonstrate our firm commitment to combating attempts by covert agents to illegally gather intelligence and recruit spies within the United States,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in the complaint against Buryakov.
According to the FBI report, federal agents began following Buryakov as early as 2010, shortly after a U.S.-Russian spy scandal became public, which left 10 people arrested. During the time of the scandal, both countries governments downplayed the magnitude of the apparent spying activities that had been ongoing, stating it would not affect the countries relations.
During the time of the breakup, those involved were charged and sent to a Moscow prison in part of a prisoner-exchange for an unnamed U.S. intelligence individual imprisoned in Russia at the time.
According to the press, representatives from the Russian consulate, the Russian embassy located in Washington D.C., told reporters that the country is aware of the ongoing matter and is awaiting more information from federal officials.