A Russian hockey player in Poland’s top league was arrested earlier this month after officials accused him of belonging to a network of spies paid to gather intelligence, officials said Friday.
The player, identified only as someone playing in Poland’s top league and living in the country since 2021, was arrested June 11, the National Prosecutor’s Office said.
“In the course of the investigation, it was determined that the detainee was a professional athlete of the first league club,” a translation of the statement from officials said.
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“In Poland, he carried out activities involving, among others, on identifying critical infrastructure in several (provinces). He kept his clients informed about the results of the reconnaissance, for which he received remuneration. The detained citizen of the Russian Federation has been staying in Poland since October 2021.”
The suspect was believed to have belonged to a network of spies “cooperating with the Russian special services,” officials said.
He was the 14th suspect detained during the authority’s investigation into that network.
“Russian spies are falling one by one!” said Zbigniew Ziobro, the justice minister and chief prosecutor. “A spy who operated under the guise of an athlete was caught.”
The hockey player faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.