Poland detains Belarusian suspected of spying, says minister

WARSAW (Reuters) -Poland has detained another suspected member of a Russian spy network, bringing the total number of people detained as part of an investigation to 16, Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski said on Friday.

“(The Internal Security Agency) ABW detained another, already sixteenth person suspected of participating in a Russian spy network,” Kaminski wrote on messaging platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Belarusian Mikhail A. took part in reconnaissance of military facilities and ports. He also carried out propaganda activities for Russia. He was taken into custody.”

The press service of Poland’s minister-coordinator of intelligence and security services said in a statement that the man came to Poland in 2021 after spending several years in Russia, including six years in jail.

“The evidence in this case suggests that he was regularly paid for the execution of tasks designed to undermine both internal and external security of Poland,” it said.

“The Belarusian individual pleaded partly guilty… He was charged with taking part in the activity of foreign intelligence targeted against Poland… Upon the court’s decision, he has been remanded in custody for a period of three months.”

A hub for Western military supplies to Ukraine, Poland says it has become a major target of Russian spies and it accuses Russia and Belarus of trying to destabilise it.

“The ABW is continuing to investigate further details of the activity of said spy ring and to identify all individuals tied to the group, and therefore does not rule out the possibility of further arrests in the future,” the statement reads.

(Reporting by Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk and Karol Badohal; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)