Well-known Peruvian journalist among spy-ring suspects
A Peruvian journalist who has worked in New York for 20 years and is notorious for a kidnap scandal in Peru was among those arrested by the FBI for suspected membership of an alleged spy ring.
Vicky Peleaz, 55, was among 11 suspects who were allegedly dispatched by the Russian intelligence service for a long term operation to search and develop ties in US policy-making circles.
Peleaz's family and friends on Tuesday released details of the FBI raid late Sunday in the northern New York suburb of Yonkers.
Peleaz was detained along with her husband as they returned from a party.
"They took them out of the car and led them to two vehicles," her son Waldo Mariscal told La Prensa Spanish-language newspaper, his mother's employer.
He said FBI agents removed computers from the house and interrogated him about his parents' politics and finances.
"There were about 30 people searching the house," said Juan, another son.
The newspaper's editor, Manuel Avendano, said that Peleaz was very controversial and had attracted both supporters and detractors.
She is best known for her opinion columns, which often criticize the US government.
Peleaz left Peru after making her name at the Frecuencia Latina TV channel where she was renowned for her aggressive style.
In 1985 she made headlines for being kidnapped by and interviewing the communist Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA).
In a murky affair, Frecuencia Latina later sacked her for allegedly fabricating the kidnapping.
Peleaz emigrated to the United States soon afterwards.
She appeared before a New York judge on Monday and was due to remain in detention until at least July 27.
The US Justice Department said Monday that 10 "deep-cover" suspects, accused of infiltrating US policymaking for the Kremlin, had been detained on suspicion of seeking details of US nuclear weapons and foreign policy.
Police in Cyprus arrested an 11th suspect trying to board an early Tuesday flight to Budapest.
© 2010 AFP