Spy used fake Irish 'Russia With Love' passport: report

11th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

An attractive blonde Russian spy may have used a fake passport copied from the identity papers of a volunteer with an Irish charity called "To Russia With Love", reports in Ireland said Monday.

Police are investigating the use of information from several Irish passports by members of a Russian spy ring that was uncovered by officials in the United States earlier this year, RTE state radio said.

In July, 10 Russian agents who were deported by US authorities were exchanged for four US spies jailed in Russia.

US officials had accused the "deep-cover" suspects of infiltrating policymaking and reporting back to Moscow.

Debbie Deegan, managing director of the "To Russia with Love" charity that helps Russian orphans, said police had informed a female volunteer last week that her passport had been compromised and she had to get a new one.

"At some point her passport was compromised somewhere along the way in the system, somewhere across the world. We have no idea where. She hasn't travelled with us in about three years," Deegan said.

The Irish foreign affairs ministry said it does not comment on individual cases.

"This matter is the subject of a gardai (police) and passport service investigation," a spokeswoman said. "We do not intend to speculate on the outcome of that investigation."

The Sunday Independent newspaper reported that the To Russia With Love passport "may have been used by a glamorous agent -- calling herself Cynthia Murphy -- who lived a normal suburban life in America as part of an 'Irish-American' couple".

Cynthia and Richard Murphy, who lived in New Jersey, were really Lydia and Vladimir Guryev.

In June, the Irish government expelled an official at the Israeli embassy in Dublin in protest at the use of forged Irish passports by suspects in the killing of a Hamas official in Dubai in January.

© 2010 AFP

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