James Bond-style ‘secret’ bases busted
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.