Ten people have been arrested in the US in connection with a Russian spy ring.
It seems like something out of an espionage novel... 10 people have been arrested in the U.S. in connection with a Russian spy ring.
Police made the arrests on Sunday in Boston, New York, and just outside Washington DC where the suspects had been living and working... some for more than 10 years.
The operation, dubbed "the illegals program", allegedly sought to put spies in non-governmental jobs and to immerse them fully in American life, so they could obtain information about the U.S. and relay it back to Russia.
Law enforcement officials say they had been monitoring the group for years and had surveillance video, forged passports, reports of stolen identities and wire tap recordings, as evidence against the suspects.
Official charges include conspiracy to act as unlawful agents of the Russian Federation and money laundering.
Five of the 10 suspects appeared in a federal court in New York on Monday.
The nature and content of the information they gathered, if any, is unclear at this time.
U.S. President Barack Obama said the timing of the arrests was unfortunate, considering a recent upbeat meeting between him and Russian President Dimitri Medvedev at the G20 summit in Canada.
Russian Foreign Ministry officials say they are investigating the allegations, although they are calling the information 'contradictory'.
Julie Noce, Reuters