Portuguese Secret Service Official Sentenced For Spying For Russia

“The case is apparently a very sensitive one for NATO because [Frederico Carvalhao] Gil had access to a wide array of NATO secrets.”

Euronews

Frederico Carvalhao Gil

On February 8 2018, Portugal state news agency Lusa reported that a former senior national intelligence official has been sentenced by a Lisbon criminal court to seven years in prison for spying for Russia. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today 

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Frederico Carvalhao Gil — a former division chief in Portugal’s Secret Intelligence Service —  was originally arrested in Rome together with a Russian spy in late May 2016.

He was arrested while selling classified documents relating to the European Union and NATO to the Russian agent. Gil was subsequently extradited to Portugal.

Gil was given two sentences, one for spying and one for corruption.  The former official will appeal against the decision.

Italy has refused to extradite the Russian man to Portugal. He was later released and returned to Russia. This person had no official cover at the time of his arrest.

“Zipper Problems” & Greed

“Portuguese intelligence suspected it had a mole for some time, and a secret hunt for the turncoat commenced in 2014. With help from spy partners, including the CIA, Lisbon developed a list of suspects.

Mr. Carvalhão was high on that list, not least because of his open affection for all things Eastern European, which he made plain on his Facebook page.

He also likes Eastern European women. “Zipper problems” as they are known in the spy trade have been the downfall of many turncoats, and reports of a Georgian woman Mr. Carvalhão was romantically involved with offer hints of a possible honey-trap. That deserves investigation, since such operations are textbook for the Russian intelligence services.

One reason he wound up on NATO counterintelligence radar was multiple reports of indiscreet liaisons with women from the former Soviet Union.

Greed seems to have also played a role. Mr. Carvalhão was allegedly charging the Kremlin’s Foreign Intelligence Service, the SVR, 10,000 Euros ($11,100) for each classified document he was selling them—a princely sum by spy standards. We know that the SVR’s main interest in the information it sought from its Portuguese mole were secrets about NATO and the European Union.

If the Russians were willing to pay that much per purloined document, it’s evident to any veteran counterintelligence hand that the classified information he was giving the SVR was important.”  [The Observer]

Former Portuguese security official arrested in NATO spy case

REFERENCES

Portuguese secret service official sentenced for spying for Russia — Reuters

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Portuguese secret service official sentenced for spying for Russia

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