MI5 began probe into accused ‘Putin spy’ after he stopped using his credit cards

A British embassy security guard accused of spying for Russia aroused suspicions after he had not used his debit or credit cards for some time.   

David Smith, 57, caught the attention of police and MI5 after his lack of bank withdrawals it was claimed. 

Authorities in Berlin believed he had another source of income and was given funds by the Russian intelligence services in exchange for secrets about his job at the British embassy. 

David Smith, 57, a British embassy security guard accused of spying for Russia aroused suspicions after he had not used his debit or credit cards for some time

David Smith, 57, a British embassy security guard accused of spying for Russia aroused suspicions after he had not used his debit or credit cards for some time

 David Smith, 57, a British embassy security guard accused of spying for Russia aroused suspicions after he had not used his debit or credit cards for some time

According to the German magazine Spiegel, as reported by The Telegraph, information he passed was believed to have been ‘low-grade’.

It included material such as lists of visitors to the embassy, according to the magazine’s sources in German intelligence.

Just months before his arrest, he was also dumped by his Ukrainian wife Svetlana Makogonova, who is said to have walked out on him in February after almost 20 years of marriage.

Smith had Russian military memorabilia including a Russian flag and uniform cap (pictured) and authorities in Berlin believed he was given funds by the Russian intelligence services

Smith had Russian military memorabilia including a Russian flag and uniform cap (pictured) and authorities in Berlin believed he was given funds by the Russian intelligence services

Smith had Russian military memorabilia including a Russian flag and uniform cap (pictured) and authorities in Berlin believed he was given funds by the Russian intelligence services

Smith was arrested on Tuesday at his home in the city of Potsdam, south west of Berlin, 30 minutes’ drive from the embassy in Berlin.  

It is understood he was employed by the embassy, where he had worked for three or four years.   

It emerged that the former RAF serviceman was firearms trained and had worked as a member of the Germany Guard Service (GGS).

Smith lived in this apartment complex in Potsdam, a 30 minutes' drive from the embassy in Berlin

Smith lived in this apartment complex in Potsdam, a 30 minutes' drive from the embassy in Berlin

Smith lived in this apartment complex in Potsdam, a 30 minutes’ drive from the embassy in Berlin

This is a civilian force often made up of ex-servicemen who are employed to protect military bases. 

Soviet memorabilia was in plain sight at his home, and there were also letters sent from the Dnipropetrovsk province of Ukraine.   

It is thought even his Ford Fiesta car number plate RU 1801 is a reference to the year Alexander I took power as Russian tsar.

Senior politicians have questioned the quality of vetting procedures given the abundance of evidence pointing towards potential sympathy for Russia.  

Investigators quizzing suspected spy Smith are believed to be looking into his relationship with his Ukrainian wife who is said to be of Russian heritage.

Smith drove an ageing Ford Fiesta, pictured, and it is thought even his number plate RU 1801 is a reference to the year Alexander I took power as Russian tsar

Smith drove an ageing Ford Fiesta, pictured, and it is thought even his number plate RU 1801 is a reference to the year Alexander I took power as Russian tsar

Smith drove an ageing Ford Fiesta, pictured, and it is thought even his number plate RU 1801 is a reference to the year Alexander I took power as Russian tsar

Smith is rumoured to have had a daughter with the mystery woman during their marriage.

But neighbours said he had been living alone for some time before he was arrested this week at his one bedroom ground floor flat.

The whereabouts of his wife are unknown and it is uncertain whether they are divorced, estranged or just living apart.

But letters in his flat which were visible from a window came from the Dnipropetrovsk province in eastern Ukraine, suggesting that his wife may be living there and could have recently written to him.

Investigators are thought to be quizzing Smith about any contact he has had with his wife who is reported to be from Odessa.

Link hienalouca.com

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