German authorities said on Wednesday that a British man who worked at the British embassy in Berlin was arrested on suspicion of transferring documents to the Russian intelligence service in exchange for money.
The man, named only as David S., had his apartment and business searched, according to German authorities, and he will be taken before an investigative judge later on Wednesday.
The man was 57 years old, according to British authorities.
“On at least one occasion, he passed on documents he had obtained in the course of his professional activities to a representative of a Russian intelligence service,” Germany’s chief federal prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
“The accused received cash in an as yet unknown amount in return for his transmission of information,” it added.
In May, Britain announced preparations to combat hostile foreign state action by drafting a proposed law that would give security and law enforcement agencies new authorities to combat escalating threats.
According to the government, the law will bring legislation into the current era by revising outdated official secrets acts, some of which date back over a century, to make them relevant to the challenges faced in the age of cyber warfare.
According to a briefing document that accompanied the Queen’s address detailing potential new laws on Tuesday, the country’s treason code could be modified as the Kingdom attempts to suppress state-sponsored espionage.
“We’re also looking into whether there’s a case to be made for criminalizing other detrimental activities carried out by and on behalf of states, such as revising treason laws,” the document stated.
It further stated that a Foreign Influence Registration Scheme would be established to aid in the fight against espionage, foreign interference, and to better protect scientific research.
The man was apprehended in Potsdam, just outside Berlin, on Tuesday. He worked as a member of the embassy’s local staff until his arrest, which was the outcome of a combined investigation by German and British authorities, according to prosecutors.
The man was arrested on suspicion of being involved in “Intelligence Agent activity,” according to British authorities.
Both China and Russia are accused of attempting to steal commercially sensitive data and intellectual property as well as interfering in politics, according to British spy chiefs, while Russian agents are also accused of carrying out an attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal on British soil in 2018.