TRONDHEIM: Norwegian security police (PST) apprehended a man of Sudanese nationality in for allegedly spying on refugees, Tuesday.
In what head of information Martin Bernsen says they believe is “the first arrest for refugee spying in Norway since the ‘70s”, the 38-year-old was detained in his home at 07:00 local time this morning without resistance.
It is thought he claimed to be a refugee to his fellow nationals, and has regularly been sending information obtained secretly to Sudanese authorities.
Officials say the suspect came to Norway in 2004, has a permanent residence permit and job.
“We deny that we have been involved in espionage. What interest would we have for such information,” NRK reports Onoor Ahmed, Sudan’s ambassador to Norway, as asking.
“I just read about the case of online newspapers. Now we're trying to find out who the arrested man is to enquire whether he needs our assistance,” added the ambassador.
The arrested man has denied all guilt and will be brought before judges for a remand hearing on Thursday.
“The man is indicted for spying on refugees in Norway, not just in Trondheim,” stated Terje Lunde of Sør-Trøndelag county PS.
Sudan is not the first country to have made the Norwegian news about spying on its nationals. An Iranian asylum seeker who wished to remain anonoymous told the broadcaster representatives of the embassy approached him and proposed assisting his application in exchange for reporting sensitive details about opposition members.
Several countries have agents in Norway, and Norway's spying activities have been reported to be on the increase.