Suspected Russian spies arrested in Germany: report

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Two suspected Russian spies operating in Germany for more than 20 years have been arrested in the first case of its kind since German reunification, a report said Saturday.

Der Spiegel said the man and woman, who lived as a couple, were arrested Tuesday when police raided their home at Ballingen, between Stuttgart and Cologne in western Germany.

It said the woman was caught listening to coded messages.

The report said the pair, who denied the accusations against them, had German names and Austrian passports which gave the man's birthplace as Argentina and the woman's as Peru, which had turned out to be false.

Der Spiegel said investigators presumed the couple had begun spying in Germany for the former Soviet KGB and were now working for Russian foreign intelligence, though the exact nature of their activities was not clear.

It said German domestic intelligence had been alerted after the discovery of a network of Russian spies in the United States, who were sent back in a swap for US agents in July last year.

© 2011 AFP

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