Boxes of money chocolates: 5 thousand euros framed Frigate Captain Walter Biot, As he handed over the classified documents to the military officer he was servingRussian Embassy. More than 200 photos collected on a pen drive, reproducing international military operations and referencing effects And so on. Such scenes have not been seen since the Cold War, especially in Italy. On March 30, a Carabinieri del Rose naval officer was arrested.SpyRussian trying to escape.
The story begins three or four months ago, when someone from the third department of the Defense General Staff, Military Policy and Planning Office reported: “Take a photo of the documents,” they report. The news reaches IC, the domestic intelligence service directed by Mario Parent, who is always on the lookout for international “recruiters” of strategic embassies. The investigation begins.
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Biot is commonly seen with Russian emissaries in a parking lot on the eastern outskirts of Rome, not too far from a Carrefour supermarket. Meetings are at least three or four, but “meeting” could have started a year ago and ended waiting for the right situation. The script is always the same: the Russian official gets off the subway on Lake Yur, takes the bus a short distance from the subway, and after a few stops across the ring road, into the Spinazeto area. Here, the two meet after a lengthy inspection to verify that the “recruited” officer is not being followed by the Italian services and police force.
However, three days ago, things were different. Rose, who has been following them for months, realizes that something new is happening. Before March 30, the Moscow agent made sure everything was calm in front of his interlocutor. At each meeting, the Russian, wearing a blue hat, met the biot inside the “sailor’s” car, where there was a hill and some large perimeters that blocked the view. Meetings were always held in the car, and investigators were able to place bugs and cameras inside. Until that day, the biot showed up with a different car than usual for an appointment, not checked. At that point, while transferring new documents and money, the ROS decides to intervene and prevent it, while the Russian tries to flee. Frigate Captain Regina Coyle is in jail. The recruiter silently closes in, claiming he is a Russian diplomat. From the moment he is stopped he refuses to drink or eat. As happens in movies with KGB agents.
But this is the reality. The investigation provokes a real diplomatic war. Foreign Minister Luigi de Mayo explains that Secretary-General Elizabeth Belloni has summoned Sergei Rasov, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Italy, to the ministry. The expulsion was decided against Russian military officials, and this happened to his boss involved in the matter. Biot’s house was searched. In addition to the Italian files during the inspection of the items seized from the apartment, the military would also hand over NATO secret documents, which would endanger not only national security but also other countries.
In the past, the two would agree to transfer money, even for four thousand euros in one case. Figures that do not seem to justify a betrayal punishable by up to 20 years in prison if not life imprisonment. But Biot seems to need more money: a sick daughter and the housework she does. So far he would have received thirty thousand euros from Russian spies.
Yesterday de Mayo defined this story: “the hostile action of extreme gravity”. He added that what happened was unacceptable and there would be consequences. There are those who say that this story will have an impact on the contracts for the purchase of the Spotnik vaccine, which can be stopped quickly. Ambassador Rosov regretted the expulsion of the two officials, while at the same time wishing that “the incident did not reflect Italian-Russian relations.” Those who threaten a “symmetrical response” are not in Moscow, but the Kremlin has the same desire. It was Rome’s extreme gesture to Duma’s Foreign Commission President Leonid Slutsky, who was destined to leave a negative impression on bilateral relations.