U.S. Finds Another Russian Spy, Britain Loses Anna Chapman

Cynthia Dermody

British passportIn Spy News today, feds discovered a 12th spy and Britain bans notorious Anna Chapman.

Feds discovered a 12th person involved in the recent Russian spy ring, but we probably won't ever know if he's as cute as Anna Chapman because he's already on his way home to Moscow. The man, in his early-to-mid-20s, came to the United States illegally last fall and had been living out west.

Unlike the 10 other spies (not including the 11th who is still on the run), the man could not be charged with spying or any other crime because he had only managed to set up shop -- he hadn't actually come close to stealing any information yet. He still agreed to be sent back to Russia, where the rest of his compatriots arrived last week as part of an international spy swap.

The exchange was an anticlimactic end to a decade-long federal investigation into a network that involved several Russian citizens working in the financial and government sectors. As part of the plea deal that all nine agreed to, they are not allowed back into the United States, nor are they allowed to profit from telling their stories in the media.

In addition, Britain has decided to revoke the citizenship of the spy ring's poster girl Chapman, which means she won't even be able to visit the country where she formerly lived with her ex-husband, Alex Chapman. Chapman, who also goes by the name Anya Kushchenko (her maiden name), obtained citizenship and a passport when she married Chapman in 2002. The pair divorced in 2006, at which time Alex Chapman described his then wife as increasingly secretive, frequently meeting with "Russian friends."

This might derail Chapman's intentions to sell her story to a British tabloid, which she's expressed an interest in doing now that her online real estate business is kaput. Chapman and the other nine are reportedly being detained in a compound while being interrogated as to how they blew their cover. They are expected to be released to their new lives -- whatever that will be -- in a few weeks.


Image via Kai Hendry/Flickr

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