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Business News/ News / World/  Russian spy Robert Hanssen –FBI agent– dies in prison

Russian spy Robert Hanssen –FBI agent– dies in prison

Hanssen had divulged a wealth of secrets about US intelligence gathering since 1985

A file photo of Robert Hanssen. (REUTERS)Premium
A file photo of Robert Hanssen. (REUTERS)

Former FBI agent Robert Hanssen, who took over $1.4 million in cash and diamonds to trade secrets with Russia, was found dead on Monday in his cell at a federal prison in Florence, Colorado.

Hanssen, 79, is believed to have died of natural causes.

He had been serving a sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole since 2002, after pleading guilty to 15 counts of espionage and other charges.

He had divulged a wealth of secrets about US intelligence gathering since at least 1985.

Authorities said using the alias “Ramon Garcia", he passed some 6,000 documents and 26 computer disks to his Russian handlers.

They detailed eavesdropping techniques, helped to confirm the identity of Russian double agents, and spilled other secrets.

Authorities also believed that he had tipped off Moscow to a secret tunnel the Americans built under the Soviet Embassy in Washington for eavesdropping.

Hanssen was believed to have been partly responsible for the deaths of at least three Soviet officers who were working for US intelligence and executed after being exposed.

Hanssen had said he was motivated by money rather than ideology.

Hanssen went undetected for years. He was caught taping a garbage bag full of secrets to the underside of a footbridge in a park in a “dead drop" for Russian handlers.

The FBI has been notified of Hanssen’s death, according to the Bureau of Prisons. 

(With inputs from AP)


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Updated: 07 Jun 2023, 03:23 AM IST
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