No Script Javascript is disabled. Please enable it for better working experience.
Advertisement
Thursday 30 May, 2024
Advertisement

Who is Maria Adela Kuhfeldt Rivera aka Olga Kolobova? Russian Spy lured NATO chiefs in honey traps

BY Anas Shah Sep 02, 2022. 11:31 pm UPDATED: Sep 02, 2022. 11:31 pm

Advertisement

An earlier attempt to get access to the elite circles of the establishment was made by a Russian spy who infiltrated NATO’s naval headquarters in Italy.

In 2006, Olga Kolobova, a spy for Putin’s GRU military intelligence service, started spying under the alias “Maria Adela Kuhfeldt Rivera.”

The spy’s deception tactics were blocked by Lady McAlpine, 78, whose brother Alistair had been a Tory fundraiser and adviser to Margaret Thatcher, according to the Telegraph. She said she did so because she did not believe the “false” and “self-invented” woman.

The would-be socialite first ran into Lady McAlpine during a number of gatherings, some of which took place at the aristocrat’s Henley-on-Thames residence and first started in 2013.

I do hazily recall her since she attended one of our parties and I had a few encounters with her, Lady McAlpine told the Telegraph.

I imagine she was attempting to ingratiate herself into our lives. Back then, I believed she was a fraud. She seemed self-invented to me, so I was pretty shocked when some others took her at her word.

78-year-old Lady McAlpine, whose brother Alistair had served as a Tory fundraiser and adviser to Margaret Thatcher, thwarted the spy’s deceitful methods, according to the Telegraph. The “fake” and “self-invented” woman, she claimed, was not someone she believed.

During a number of events, some of which began in 2013 and were held at the aristocrat’s Henley-on-Thames residence, the would-be socialite first met Lady McAlpine.

I vaguely remember her since she attended one of our parties and I ran into her a few times, Lady McAlpine told the Telegraph.

Advertisement

She may have been trying to get more integrated into our life. I thought she was a phoney then. I was somewhat surprised to learn that she was self-invented.

There, Peruvian-born “Maria” made a name for herself as a custom jeweller and nightclub owner. Her lively personality and love of fun allowed her to make friends with and fall in love with dozens of NATO personnel, including high-ranking colonels.

However, Kolobova is actually a Russian military official’s daughter who lured European and American security professionals into unknowingly disclosing critical information for her Kremlin superiors by peddling counterfeit jewellery made in China.

Kolobova was a Russian agent, but Marcelle D’Argy Smith, a former Cosmopolitan editor who was at the party with Kolobova unaware of this, thinks Adela may have been playing a longer game with her.

‘Her story was extremely plausible and normally you don’t go around digging into someone’s background to see if there’s anything else there.

‘There was nothing about her that aroused my suspicions. There were no alarm bells

‘They embed themselves and get familiar. Maria was an easy young woman to befriend. She wasn’t forward. Nobody would really remember much about her.’

According to reports, Ms. D’Argy Smith received a text message from Kolobova just six months ago in which the spy expressed her’missing you a lot and very very much.’

Kolobova, who is currently thought to be in her mid-40s, was a member of Russia’s notorious “illegals” programme, a network of spies who go through years of rigorous training to get them ready for lengthy postings overseas.

Once ready, illegal immigrants are given expertly made false identities and placed in a nation where they spend years or even decades leading double lives.

Advertisement

The deep cover operatives are required to advance their professions, forge connections, and in some cases, even create families and raise children while secretly advancing a much more sinister objective on behalf of the Kremlin.

For this reason, Kolobova successfully pretended to be “Maria” for more than ten years before she returned to Moscow in 2018. Their sophisticated cover tales, high levels of training, and the length of their missions make them exceedingly difficult to track down.

Authorities suspect Kolobova purchased a one-way ticket to Russia after believing her cover story, but she was never apprehended.

A few months after leaving Italy, “Maria” made her final Facebook post, in which she said she had to “tell the truth” that she had cancer and had undergone chemotherapy. This was probably a ruse to allow her to leave her friendship circles without raising any red flags.

Kolobova is thought to have purchased a one-way ticket to Russia after she thought her cover had been blown following the Salisbury poisonings in 2018. She is not believed to have been apprehended by police.

A few months after leaving Italy, “Maria” made her final Facebook post, in which she said she had to “tell the truth” that she had cancer and had undergone chemotherapy. This was probably a ruse to allow her to leave her friendship circles without raising any red flags.

Only after Bellingcat investigators learned that the Peruvian Ministry of Justice had deemed the “Maria” identity to be false and that the Russian domestic passports issued to the alias bore numbers closely resembling those of other previously identified agents, including a GRU officer involved in the poisoning of Russian defector Sergey Skripal on British soil in March 2018, that Bellingcat investigators learned her real name had been concealed.

The spy is thought to have visited a wide range of NATO or US military-organized events, including NATO annual balls, various fund-raising dinners, and the annual US Marine Corps balls, in addition to making a great number of house calls to the homes of numerous NATO officials.

Along with her extensive network of friends and romantic partners who worked for NATO, Kolobova travelled widely throughout Europe, southeast Asia, and the Middle East, places she claimed were connected to her jewellery company Serein and that allegedly gave her access to functions attended by senior foreign officials.

One image from the business’s since-deleted Facebook page that Bellingcat discovered appeared to show ‘Maria’ shaking hands with Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the former prime minister of Bahrain, after giving him a pair of cufflinks that were crafted specifically for him.

Advertisement

However, several of the items displayed on Serein’s now-defunct website and Facebook page appeared to match budget-priced jewellery produced in China.

It is unknown what she is doing right now, but Kolobova is not likely to have given up playing spy.

According to phone records, the agent’s number called Igor Kostyukov, one of the GRU’s top leaders, in February of this year on the widely honoured military holiday known as “Day of the Defenders of the Motherland” in Russia.

Not only did Kolobova escape capture and return to her native country undetected, but according to investigators, neither the US nor any European secret service organisation had even heard of her.

According to Bellingcat, “There is no proof that Western counterintelligence services or NATO’s own internal security service were aware of the presence of a Russian military spy stationed strategically near the Joint Force Command Center of NATO in Europe.”Kolobova’s identity being revealed will raise considerable security concerns for NATO and Western intelligence services, especially in light of Russia’s current conflict in Ukraine and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threats of terrible repercussions should Western forces enter the conflict.

Advertisement

Related Articles

Who is Ava Louise? OnlyFans model who flashed portal
World

Who is Ava Louise? OnlyFans model who flashed portal

The annoying OnlyFans model claims that she lifted her top because she...

Madison Bergmann arrested for ‘making out’ with 5th-grader
US

Madison Bergmann arrested for ‘making out’ with 5th-grader

Less than three months before her wedding, a 24-year-old elementary school teacher...

Sgt. Colin Arslanbas killed in training accident
US

Sgt. Colin Arslanbas killed in training accident

Military authorities have revealed the identify of the Marine from North Carolina...

Who was Courtney Fannon? What was her cause of death
US

Who was Courtney Fannon? What was her cause of death

In her tight-knit New York community, COURTNEY Fannon was regarded as an...

Camryn Herriage college grad in ICU, friend killed after crash
US

Camryn Herriage college grad in ICU, friend killed after crash

This is due to the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, which is scheduled...

Who are Dominic Miller and Lyndell Mays? Kansas City parade shooting suspects
US

Who are Dominic Miller and Lyndell Mays? Kansas City parade shooting suspects

When gunfire broke out on February 14, 2024, during a SUPER BOWL...

Advertisement

Latest News

Who is Ava Louise? OnlyFans model who flashed portal
World

Who is Ava Louise? OnlyFans model who flashed portal

The annoying OnlyFans model claims that she lifted her top because she...

Madison Bergmann arrested for ‘making out’ with 5th-grader
US

Madison Bergmann arrested for ‘making out’ with 5th-grader

Less than three months before her wedding, a 24-year-old elementary school teacher...

Sgt. Colin Arslanbas killed in training accident
US

Sgt. Colin Arslanbas killed in training accident

Military authorities have revealed the identify of the Marine from North Carolina...

MMA FIGHTER Ali Heibati banned for kicking RING GIRL Maria
Viral

MMA FIGHTER Ali Heibati banned for kicking RING GIRL Maria

Ali Heibati, an MMA fighter, received a lifelong ban for his shameful...

Advertisement