A Russian arrested at Gatwick by counter-terror police on suspicion of spying has been released without charge.
The suspect, in his forties, was detained under the Official Secrets Act as he tried to board a flight leaving the UK last Monday.
He was taken to Hammersmith police station in west London for further questioning following a joint intelligence-led operation by the Metropolitan Police and security services. He was released on Friday.
The Sun newspaper reported the man was accused of spying in Britain for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Sources told The Times he was not accused of being an intelligence officer in the country, but rather a potentially useful conduit for information.
Scotland Yard said: “We can confirm that officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command arrested a man in his 40s at Gatwick airport on Monday June 13 on suspicion of offences under section 1 of the Official Secrets Act 1911.
“He was held at a London police station. On Friday June 17, he was subsequently released from custody without charge.”
Section 1 of the Official Secrets Act relates to information contained within notes, plans or sketches which may be useful to an enemy.
Police and the security services have stepped up their work since the attack on double agent Sergei Skripal in Salisbury in 2018 and Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.