Report: Retired Latvian official held as suspected spy

October 31, 2018

TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — The main Baltic news agency says a retired Latvian official has been arrested on suspicion of spying “probably for Russia.”

The Baltic News Service says 62-year-old Oleg Buraks has been in pre-trial detention since his Oct. 16 arrest.

The news service said Buraks headed the firearms registration department at Latvia’s Interior Ministry for years and retired in 2006. Latvia’s security police haven’t commented on the case.

Defense lawyer Imma Jansone told BNS on Wednesday that Buraks denies the charges but she couldn’t comment further.

Russia has maintained interest in the military and security affairs of the Baltic states previously under Soviet rule since they joined NATO in 2004.

Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania have had several high-profile spy cases related to Russia since they gained independence in 1991.