Russian Spies Caught Working For Putin

( Two Iranian-born brothers in Sweden, one of whom held jobs in both the Swedish Security Police and the Swedish armed forces, were charged last week with spying on behalf of Russia for ten years.

The pair have been in custody since their arrest last year and are accused of engaging in espionage activities on behalf of Russia between 2011 and 2021.

SVT reported that while it was not clear at the time of their arrest to whom the men may have been passing their information, prosecutors in Sweden now allege that the brothers were working on behalf of the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate, or GRU.

Swedish authorities identified the brothers as Peyman Kia, 42, and Payam Kia, 35. One of the pair was also indicted for the alleged gross unauthorized handling of secret information.

National Security Unit chief prosecutor Per Lindqvist said last Friday that if the information obtained by the brothers got into the hands of a foreign power, it would have been a “detriment to Sweden’s security.” Lindqvist later told the Associated Press that the case involves “extremely sensitive topics.”

According to the charge sheet, the brothers had “jointly” passed information to the GRU starting on September 28, 2011, until September 20, 2021. The data was acquired by Peyman Kia, who worked for Sweden’s domestic intelligence agency and its armed forces.

The other brother, Payam, then helped with the contacts with “Russia and the GRU” including arranging the surrender of the information and the receipt of compensation.

After Peyman Kia was arrested, his brother Payam “dismantled and broke a hard drive” that was later found in the trash, according to the charges.

In 2017, the Swedish Security Police, SAPO, began to grow suspicious of its former employee and launched an investigation. According to Lindqvist, SAPO suspected that there was a “mole, an insider” within the intelligence community.

SAPO confirmed that Peyman Kia worked there between 2014 and 2015. Before that, Peyman had worked with the Swedish armed forces.

The Kia brothers became Swedish citizens in 1994. They were arrested in September and November 2021.

Both deny any wrongdoing.