Canada suspect in US-Russia spy case goes missing in Cyprus

30th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

A Canadian man wanted in connection with an alleged Russian spy ring in the United States has gone missing in Cyprus where he violated the terms of his bail on Wednesday, police said.

Christopher Robert Metsos, 54, was arrested at the island's Larnaca airport on Tuesday after immigration officers discovered his name on a stop list.

Under the terms of his bail, a court allowed Metsos to go free on condition that he visits the police station in central Larnaca each day and surrender his travel documents.

But he failed to sign in on Wednesday between 6 and 8 pm as ordered by the court, which released him on 26,500 euros (32,330 dollars) bail to await extradition, police said.

Police were expected to issue an arrest warrant.

On Monday, US authorities announced the arrest of 10 "deep-cover" suspects accused of infiltrating policymaking and reporting back to Moscow. The Federal Bureau of Investigation secretly monitored the mission for more than 10 years.

Metsos has been named as the 11th suspect and said to have been under surveillance in Queens in New York in May 2004 when he received a bag containing money from an official associated with Russia's UN mission.

Two more suspects were followed in June 2006 to Wurstboro, New York, where they dug up a package of money allegedly buried there by Metsos.

Police told the court in Larnaca that Metsos was wanted in the United States for spying on behalf of Russia and for laundering 40,000 dollars (32,800 euros).

An extradition hearing for Metsos, who arrived in Cyprus on June 17 and was staying at a central Larnaca hotel, has been scheduled for July 29.

© 2010 AFP

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