Home world Malaysian student in Norway detained for alleged espionage

Malaysian student in Norway detained for alleged espionage

Malaysian student in Norway detained for alleged espionage
Published September 12, 2023 Updated September 12, 2023 Bookmark Bookmark Share WhatsApp Telegram Facebook Twitter Email LinkedIn

KUALA LUMPUR — A 25-year-old Malaysian student in Norway has been detained by local authorities for alleged espionage, including illegal eavesdropping using various technical devices.

The Norwegian police intelligence agency, or PST, has charged the man with spying on the Prime Minister’s Office, Defence Ministry, and other government offices in Oslo, Norwegian local media reported.

PST told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that the man, who was arrested on Friday, was charged in court on Sunday (Sept 10) with espionage and intelligence operations against the country.

The man, whose identity was not disclosed, has pleaded not guilty during initial police questioning.

Norwegian authorities have not stated which country the man was allegedly spying for.

State prosecutor Fredrik Blom was quoted as saying: “We don’t quite know what we’re facing. We are in a critical, initial and vulnerable phase of the investigation.

“He (the suspect) is charged with using technical installations for illegal signal intelligence,” Mr Blom told NRK.

Police have seized several data-carrying electronic devices belonging to the man, which the PST is now investigating.

According to PST, the student is not enrolled at an educational institution in Norway and has been living in Norway for a relatively short period of time.

Citing the arrest order, NRK said the suspect had allegedly been caught conducting illegal signal surveillance in a rental car near the Norwegian Prime Minister’s Office and the Defence Ministry.

According to a court decision, the man has been imprisoned in pre-trial custody for four weeks with a ban on the receiving of letters and visits. Security officials said the suspect was not operating alone.

In its previous assessments, PST singled out neighbouring Russia, China and North Korea as state actors that posed a significant intelligence threat to Norway, a nation with a population of 5.4 million.

Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry confirmed the arrest of a Malaysian for alleged espionage on Tuesday.

The ministry said in a statement that the Malaysian Embassy in Stockholm was in close contact with the Norwegian authorities for more information on the case.

“The ministry through the Malaysian Embassy in Stockholm confirms a man believed to be a Malaysian citizen has been arrested.

“We will continue to monitor the development of this case and will provide appropriate consular assistance if needed,” it said. NEW STRAITS TIMES