German commandos have arrested a married couple in the town of Michelbach, on suspicion of passing along auto industry secrets to Russia's foreign intelligence service.
According to English-language German newspaper The Local, "intelligence service sources say the man, named only as Andreas A., had worked for Faurecia, one of Germany’s top car part manufacturers which supplies major companies including Volkswagen, Renault, Toyota and Ford," where he is thought to have engaged in "industrial espionage."
Andreas A., who was identified by the Daily Mail as Andreas Anschlag, 45, is believed to have been living in Germany for the past 20 years with his wife Heidrun, 51, "having used fake passports to enter the country, and then setting themselves up as a family, even having a daughter who is now said to be 20 years old and studying medicine in Marburg."
From the Daily Mail:
The bogus passports stated that Andreas was born in Argentina and Heidrun in Peru. Checks with authorities in both nations proved them to be fakes.
'The accused are suspected of having worked in Germany over a long period of time for a foreign intelligence agency,' the federal prosecutor said in a statement.
Whatever the Anschlags were up to, they don't appear to have been taking their cues from the James Bonds of the world.
The Moscow Times reports that Heidrun Anschlag "was caught by investigators while listening to encrypted radio messages" from Russia on a short-wave, which experts tell the paper is "bizarre" in this day and age.
However, they may have simply been drawing on outdated training.
Russian newspaper Iswestija (via The Local) quotes a "Russian intelligence agent [as] saying the couple were long retired from the spy business and that they may have been used to transfer information, 'like a kind of letter box.'"
The Anschlags deny "being involved in any espionage activity."