Cyprus bails suspect in U.S.-Russia spy case

A general view of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) headquarters outside Moscow, June 29, 2010.

From Reuters: A man suspected of being the 11th member of a U.S. spy ring allegedly working for Russia has been arrested and released on bail in Cyprus, police said on Tuesday.

Robert Christopher Metsos, 55, was arrested at Cyprus’s Larnaca airport as he tried to leave the island for Budapest early on Tuesday, police said. A magistrate released Metsos on 20,000 euros ($24,410) bail to reappear in court within 30 days, when an extradition hearing will start.

"Based on the (Interpol) red notice we received, he is wanted for money laundering and espionage," police spokesman Michalis Katsounotos told Reuters.

Local media reports said Metsos was a Canadian with a U.S. passport.

The man is believed to be the 11th suspect U.S. authorities say is involved in a spy ring that carried out deep-cover work in the United States to recruit political sources and gather information for the Russian government. U.S. authorities said on Monday they arrested 10 suspected spies in the ring. …

The U.S. embassy in Nicosia said it was not aware of the arrest.

From the APOleg Gordievsky, a former deputy head of the KGB in London who defected in 1985, said Russian President Dmitry Medvedev would know the number of illegal operatives in each target country.

The 71-year-old ex-double agent told The Associated Press on Tuesday that, based on his experience in Russian intelligence, he estimates that Moscow likely has 40 to 50 couples operating under cover in the U.S.

"For the KGB, there’s usually 40 to 50 couples, all illegal," said Gordievsky, who defected to Britain after supplying information during the Cold War to the U.K.’s MI6 overseas spy agency. …

Gordievsky said he estimates there are 400 declared Russian intelligence officers in the U.S., and likely 40 to 50 couples charged with covertly cultivating military and diplomat officials as sources of information.  (photo: Getty)

Image: getty%206%2029%2010%20SVR%20hq%20Moscow.jpg