Two ‘Russian spies’ caught in Istanbul
ISTANBULTwo Russian “spies” alleged to be involved in the killing of Chechen militant Abdulvakhid Edelgireyev in Turkey were caught in a joint operation that took six months to prepare by the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) and police on April 8 in Istanbul, a report has claimed.
The alleged spies, 52-year-old Iurii Anisimov and 55-year-old Aleksandr Smirnov, were caught while they were doing intelligence work for another plot, daily Habertürk reported. The alleged spies, who refused to talk during interrogations, have been arrested.
According to reports, Edelgireyev was approached by a white car, and was then shot and stabbed by assassins in a car on Nov. 1, 2015, in the Kayaşehir district of Istanbul.
Police operations revealed that the car used was rented 20 days before the assassination by Russian citizen Aleksandr Nasyrov, who arrived in Istanbul on Sep. 11, 2015.
Nasyrov rented two cars every other day between Sep. 11 and Sept. 16, 2015, while in Turkey. The cars were then left in a parking lot in the western province of Yalova.
Nasyrov stayed alone in a hotel in Istanbul and left Turkey on Sep. 16, 2015, from Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport.
According to the report, the police tracked Nasyrov’s movements in Turkey and found Anisimov and Smirnov had stayed in a hotel in Yalova in separate rooms between Sep. 11 and 13, 2015.
They then travelled to Istanbul from Yalova and stayed in two separate hotels in Istanbul’s touristic Sultanahmet district between Sep. 14 and 16, 2015. Nasyrov then met Smirnov and Anisimov close to their hotels.
No press statement was released after the investigation into the Russians.
Meanwhile, Russian officials told Russia Today that they are in touch with Anisimov and Smirnov.
The Russian Consulate in Istanbul also said the two men denied all accusations, but Turkey had still not informed Russian diplomats of the details of the accusations.
The suspects arrived in Istanbul once again on April 4 and went to Yalova via car. Police caught the duo upon their return to Istanbul from Yalova, according to Habertürk reports.
Investigations revealed that both had reentered Turkey using fake passports. Fake Interpol IDs, a number of photos of Russian state officials, a USB memory stick, five cell phones with numbers and PIN/PUK information glued to them and U.S. dollars with consecutive serial numbers were found on the spies.
According to initial information obtained from the USB, the suspects took photos of parking areas, license plates, security cameras, hotel rooms and obscure parts of the rooms.
The alleged spies tracked the movement of security cameras for a day and took photos of the camera’s positions on an hourly basis.
The efforts to recover the deleted information on the USB stick are ongoing.