Viktor Muller Ferreira has been hired as an intern at the International Criminal Court. He was actually a Russian spy. He was unmasked before he could access sensitive information.
The story might sound like a movie script. It is, however, very real. The Dutch secret service announced this week that it had blocked a Russian spy from joining the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands, reports AFP. It is the administration in charge in particular of investigations into war crimes in Ukraine.
A fake Brazilian profile
The fake trainee introduced himself as Viktor Muller Ferreira, a Brazilian. A profile he had forged for more than ten years. From his real name Sergey Vladimirovich Cherkasov, he had been unmasked before taking up his post at the International Criminal Court. He was arrested by the Dutch immigration services in April. The facts were only revealed today for the investigation to be completed.
According to the Guardian, Viktor Muller Ferreira had established his identity for several years before his attempt to join the ICC. “This clearly shows us what the Russians are doing, who are trying to gain illegal access to information within the ICC. We classify this as a high-level threat,” a Dutch intelligence spokesman said. . He was then to begin a “six-month trial period at the International Criminal Court as a junior analyst in the preliminary examinations section.”
A threat taken “very seriously”
The administration reacted shortly after the news broke and said it takes external threats “very seriously”. Indeed, the integration of this false intern could have had dramatic consequences for the neutrality of the ICC. The infiltrator could have reported information of “great value for the Russian intelligence services.”
At the same time, Brazilian authorities announced that they had arrested a man matching his profile. “Using a sophisticated falsification system, he usurped the identity of a Brazilian whose parents are deceased”, explains the police in a press release relayed by AFP. Western intelligence services are very vigilant to these infiltrations for several years, a threat taken even more seriously since the start of the war in Ukraine.