Sweden: Man arrested for spying on Tibetan refugees

“The arrested man is suspected of having, at the request of another country, illegally gathered information about people in the Tibetan community in Sweden. The information has been passed on to intelligence officers working for a foreign power.”

SAPO Press Release


Sweden has arrested a man suspected of spying on Tibetan refugees for an unnamed foreign power. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today

The Swedish Security Service (Säpo) would not disclose his name or nationality, nor which country he was working for or where in Sweden he was spying. The man, who has lived in Sweden for several years, was arrested on Sunday (26/02/2017).

“The man is suspected of having illegally collected information on exiled Tibetans, and passing on the information to a foreign power”, said SAPO in a statement on Monday.

“It happened in more than one location, and it happened over a period of time’ said the newspaper. The security police were able to see how this man had been working in the Tibetan environmental movement, and gained his information there, which he later passed on to intelligence officers”, said Nina Odermalm Schej, the press manager at SAPO, to TT news agency.

Säpo Spokesman Simon Bynert told AFP the preliminary investigation is classified. SAPO refused to say whether the foreign power involved was China.

About Säpo

The Swedish Security Service (Swedish: Säkerhetspolisen abbreviated Säpo, until 1989 Rikspolisstyrelsens säkerhetsavdelning abbreviated RPS/Säk) is a Swedish government agency organised under the Ministry of Justice. SAPO operates like a security agency responsible for counter-espionage, counter-terrorism, the protection of dignitaries and the constitution. The Swedish Security Service is also tasked with investigating crimes against national security and terrorist crimes. [WIKIPEDIA]

Bengt Anders Ingvar Thornberg (born 1959) is the current Director-General and Head of the Swedish Security Service (Säpo), appointed on 5 July 2012. Thornberg has been an employee of the security service since 1990, notably serving as deputy chief of the security service (from July 1, 2011).

Refugee espionage

Refugee espionage is usually aimed at preventing people from expressing criticism against the regime in their home countries.

Regimes also spy on refugees to find out who has fled the country, why, and where they are now — or to put pressure on family members who have stayed behind.

Tibetan Community in Sweden

Some 130 Tibetans live in Sweden. The head of the organisation Tibetan Community in Sweden is Nyima Sherlhokangsar.


Nyima Sherlhokangsar: “We are shocked over this news… we have not suspected anything.”


Man gripen för flyktingspionage — Säkerhetspolisen (Official Website) 27 February 2017

Flyktingspionage (Refugee Espionage): Definition — Säkerhetspolisen (Official Website)

Misstänkt flyktingspion gripen av Säpo — svt

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