Russians expelled over plot to hack poisons lab
GENEVA: Dutch intelligence services have arrested two alleged Russian spies on suspicion of planning to hack a Swiss laboratory investigating the poisoning of double agent Sergei Skripal.
The two agents, believed to be working for Russia’s GRU military intelligence service, targeted the Spiez laboratory near Bern, Switzerland’s Dutchbased NRC newspaper said.
They were arrested in The Hague “early this year” and detained by Dutch military intelligence, working with several other countries, before being expelled from the Netherlands.
However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov con- demned the reports, saying he could not believe the arrests would not have been picked up at the time by the media.
According to sources within the investigation, the pair carried equipment to hack into the laboratory’s computer network, NRC reported.
At the time, Spiez was analysing data related to poison gas attacks in Syria, as well as the March 4 attack using the nerve agent Novichok on Russian double agent Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England.
The laboratory does analytical work for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the global chemical arms watchdog.