FBI releases footage of Russian spies



FBI releases footage of Russian spies London: Secret videos of a group of Russian undercover agents, including now fashion model Anna Chapman who worked in America, have now been released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The surveillance tapes show the spies swapping money and information, The Sun reported.

In one clip, the 29-year-old Chapman is seen transmitting coded messages while sitting in a coffee shop in New York. She is also seen setting up her laptop computer at a book store.

Chapman was among 10 Russian agents who were operating in the US. They were arrested June 26, 2010, after a decade-long FBI investigation code-named "Ghost Stories".

The spies were deported two weeks after their arrest after they pleaded guilty to espionage charges.

Other footage shows the agents handing over documents in a subway tunnel, meeting at locations in New York and taking their kids for walks.

One spy, Donald Heathfield, was reportedly seen at a university graduation ceremony.

The spies took civilian jobs in the US instead of operating inside Russian embassies and military missions. They moved into quiet lives in middle-class neighbourhoods, the daily said.

The assignments given by Moscow asked them to cultivate contacts with academics, entrepreneurs and government policy makers.

The FBI code name "Ghost Stories" reportedly referred to the agents' efforts to blend into the US society.

Although the spies "never got their hands on any classified documents, their intent from the start was serious, well-funded and far-ranging," the FBI was quoted as saying by Sky News.

After their arrival in Russia, the agents were hailed as heroes, and President Dmitry Medvedev even awarded them Russia's highest honour at a Kremlin ceremony.

Chapman has gone on to become a model and television personality, while Heathfield has become an adviser to the president of a major Russian oil company.

IANS