James Bond-style ‘se­cret’ bases busted

Sunday Tasmanian - - News - JAMIE SEI­DEL

ARMED po­lice stormed 17 prop­er­ties on Fin­land’s western bor­der, many owned by Rus­sian bil­lion­aire Pavel Mel­nikov.

The Septem­ber raids in­cluded an as­sault on the tiny is­land of Sakkilu­oto, which had nine piers, a he­li­pad, a cam­ou­flage-draped swim­ming pool, swarms of satel­lite dishes and bar­racks-like hous­ing.

Fin­nish po­lice sus­pect a Rus­sian real es­tate firm of money laun­der­ing but lo­cal me­dia said it was buy­ing land for covert out­posts for spies.

Planes and he­li­copters en­forced a no-fly-zone over the Turku Archipelago as 100 armed agents swarmed the is­land in boats and 300 oth­ers were spread be­tween 16 re­main­ing prop­er­ties.

The re­mote is­lands had spy cam­eras and mo­tion-de­tec­tor alarms.

Two men were ar­rested in the raids. Fin­nish po­lice seized $5 mil­lion in cash. Com­put­ers and flash drives con­tain­ing some 100 ter­abytes of data were con­fis­cated. It’s not the first time Fin­nish me­dia has raised fears of a Rus­sian “hy­brid war­fare” cam­paign through strate­gic land purchases.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.