A government official has been arrested in Germany, accused of passing secret information to Russia.

The man has been named only as Thomas H, in line with German privacy rules.

He worked for an office dealing with military equipment and information technology.

It is alleged he went on his own initiative to the Russian embassy in Berlin, and also to its consulate in the city of Bonn, where he offered his services.

He was brought before a judge on Wednesday and was detained, pending a trial.

“The federal prosecutor has arrested a German officer on suspicion of working for a foreign secret service,” wrote Justice Minister Marco Buschmann on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter. “Vigilance is the order of the day.”

The man allegedly handed over information obtained during the course of his work with the intention that it be passed to a Russian intelligence service, the federal prosecutor’s office said.

He was arrested in Koblenz in western Germany, and his home and workplace were searched, it added.

The arrest came after the domestic security agency, the BfV, warned in June against the risk of an “aggressive Russian espionage operation” as Moscow wages its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

This is not the first case of its kind since the Russian invasion in February last year.

In January, a German citizen was arrested on suspicion of treason for alleged involvement in a scheme to pass intelligence to Russia.

The man, named only as Arthur E, was thought to be linked to a German foreign intelligence service (BND) employee who was arrested in December for allegedly spying for Russia.

Source: BBC