The Atlantic

How a Norwegian Retiree Got Caught Up in a Spy Scandal

A tale of intrigue on the Arctic border—and a new confrontation with Russia
Source: Pavel Golovkin / AP

OSLO, Norway—Late last year, Russian authorities in Moscow arrested a 62-year-old retired Norwegian border guard and pensioner named Frode Berg and accused him of being a spy. According to Russian officials, since 2015 Berg had been mailing envelopes of cash to an unknown recipient; in exchange, they said, Norwegian intelligence acquired information on Russia’s nuclear submarines in the far north. At the time of his arrest, Berg was carrying an envelope with 3,000 euros in cash.

In late April, Berg to having worked for Norwegian military intelligence, but as an unwitting courier. Over the years, he had been mailing cash and instructions during trips to Russia, but beyond that, the exact mechanics and breadth of the operation are still unknown. Berg’s lawyer, Brynjulf Risnes, said that the

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