A woman, known as ‘Maria T.’ has been exposed as a foreign espionage agent who took on the identity of a deceased Greek female according to Greece’s National Intelligence Service (EYP).

“Greece’s National Intelligence Service (EYP) has made an important disclosure on the modus operandi and infiltration techniques used by foreign intelligence services in Greece,” the announcement said.

“More specifically, systematic investigations conducted by EYP, in addition to information it has collected, demonstrated that a female person under the name ‘Maria T.’ who in the past few years pretended to be Greek and worked as a photographer and owner of a craft and knitting supplies shop in Athens, with Greek citizenship and identity card since 2018, is in reality the foreign national ‘Irina A. S.’ who has been operating in our country under ‘deep cover’.”

“The countdown towards her exposure started after the detection of a third party attempting to gain access to the personal data of deceased Greek citizens, an internationally known and established practice the intelligence services of a specific foreign country use for the creation of a special category of spies called ‘illegals’.”

EYP further explained that the aforementioned intelligence services recruit and train ‘illegals’ with the aim of placing them in target countries, in order to carry out spying espionage on behalf of their country.

“To protect their real identity they operate under ‘deep cover’, they employ falsified personal documents and use stillbirth certificates or death certificates. From the moment of their settlement abroad the ‘illegals’ live and act on the basis of the fabricated story created for them so as to shield their mission,” the announcement clarified, adding that the case of ‘Maria T’ and her activity is a direct example of a so called ‘illegal’.

“It is clear that ‘T’s’ activity would not have been limited to Greek territory. Being an EU citizen she would have been able to travel and work in many European countries. That is why EYP’s success bears a dimension that goes beyond national borders.”

Even though the official statement provided by the Greek Intelligence Service does not name the spy’s country of origin, Proto Thema newspaper reported the woman is Russian, following a comment from Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak that an espionage network operating in the southern Podkarpackie region which had installed secret cameras at main railway routes had been uncovered.

“It was an espionage group, a group of people who were collecting information for those who attacked Ukraine,” Mr Blaszczak added, alluding to Belarus being the main entry point.

“It was a real threat… they were planning sabotage actions aimed at paralyzing the supply of equipment, weapons and aid to Ukraine.”

The case that has just been disclosed by EYP is a telling example of the methods and techniques or ‘tradecraft’ employed by intelligence services, such that foreign agents can be inserted into target countries under assumed identities, becoming another person entirely, their previous lives completely unknown to even those closest to them.