Norwegian police revealed on Monday that three Russian men and one woman have been arrested on suspicion of illegally photographing classified facilities last week, days before they had caught two other Russians allegedly possessing drones and drone footage.
Game of Drones: Norway police arrest Russian suspect
The four individuals, three men and a woman, were arrested on Tuesday, October 11, however, the Nordland county police only informed the public of the arrest on Monday, October 17. According to the lawmen, cameras and extensive photographic material had been seized from the detained individuals’ car, but no drones were found. On Friday, the court permitted police to hold the four suspects in custody for a period of a week.
“During an inspection of a car with Russian registration plates, we found a lot of photographic gear and a relatively extensive collection of photographic materials. We earlier received information of their suspicious activities,” said Gaute Rydmark of the police.
The four individuals claimed to be tourists who entered Norway via Finland at the turn of September and October. The police did not release information as to what facilities were photographed, but according to the Media, they were found and arrested 30 kilometres north of the Drevjamoen army base.
In the previous week, the police had announced an arrest of a Russian man holding dual Russian and Israeli citizenship, when he was trying to cross the border out of the country while being in possession of several drones and a huge amount of data with footage of various facilities. The following day, the police also arrested a man taking pictures of the airport in Tromsø, north of the Arctic Circle.
“We’re seeing the consequences of the new security situation in Norway,” said Justice Minister Emilie Enger Mehl. “We can’t rule out further cases.” She also said that the Norwegians “cannot be naive” in light of the increased threat Russia poses to their national security following the invasion of Ukraine.
Norway has been ramping up security in recent weeks following a number of noted drone sightings close to its oil and gas infrastructure and in response to the September 26 sabotage on the Nord Stream gas pipelines off the coasts of Sweden and Denmark.