PETALING JAYA: A 25-year-old Malaysian has been arrested for allegedly spying on the office of the Norwegian prime minister and the country’s defence ministry as well as other government offices.
According to Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK), the man had attempted to tap into their electronic communications before being arrested on Friday night, NewsInEnglish reported.
He will be held in custody for at least four weeks while the investigation continues and will be kept in isolation for the first two weeks.
Norwegian prosecutor Thomas Fredrik Blom told NRK that isolation was necessary as there was a “real and high” danger of evidence tampering.
Norway’s police intelligence agency PST said the man was photographed repeatedly in his rental car outside government offices he was believed to have targeted.
He was subsequently charged with “signaletterretning”.
According to NewsInEnglish, a portal based in Oslo, “signaletterretning” is a Norwegian term used for tapping into electronic signals, including mobile phone conversations and text messages.
Meanwhile, Wisma Putra said that the Malaysian embassy in Stockholm noted that “a man believed to be a Malaysian citizen” was detained in Norway after allegedly being involved in espionage.
“The Malaysian embassy in Stockholm is in close contact with local authorities in Oslo, Norway, to obtain further information about this case,” it said in a statement.
“The foreign ministry will continue to monitor the developments in this case and will provide appropriate consular assistance if necessary.”