First UK Nationals Charged Under 2023 National Security Act for Russian Spying

The United Kingdom Metropolitan Police have announced that five men have been arrested and charged under the National Secuity Act which was only passed in December 2023. These men are suspected of conspiring with Russian intelligence services to commit arson attacks against unnamed British targets. They are charged under Section 27 of the act.

The Suspects

The identities and charges of each man read below:

  • Dylan James Earl, 20 (17.02.04) of Elmesthorpe, Leicestershire was charged on Friday, 19 April with aggravated arson, contrary to section 1(2) and (3) Criminal Damage Act 1971; preparatory conduct, contrary to section 18 of the National Security Act 2023; and assisting a foreign intelligence service, contrary to section 3(1) and (9) of the National Security Act 2023.
  • Jake Reeves, 22 (20.10.01), of Croydon, south London, was charged on Thursday, 25 April with aggravated arson, contrary to section 1 of the Criminal Damage Act, 1971 and agreeing to accept a material benefit from a foreign intelligence service, contrary to section 17(2) and (11) of the National Security Act 2023.
  • Dmitrijus Paulauska, 22 (2.01.02), of Croydon, south London, was charged on Thursday, 25 April with failing to disclose information to police about terrorist acts, contrary to section 38B of the Terrorism Act, 2000.
  • [G] Paul English, 60 (02.10.63) from Roehampton and [F] Nii Kojo Mensah, 21 (03.06.02) from Thornton Heath were charged on Sunday, 21 April with aggravated arson in London in March.

The Met has confirmed that these men have all been arrested in the last two weeks or so with each appearing before the Westminster Magistrates’ Court for arraignment. This follows the arrest of several Polish and German citizens arrested under the same charges of conspiring to commit arson and explosive attacks against Western military infrastructure in their home countries.

The Act

The UK National Security Act is an act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which introduced new measures intended to strengthen United Kingdom national security against espionage, interference in the political system, sabotage, and assassination. It also introduces sabotage as a new offence if conducted for a foreign power, it carries a sentence of life imprisonment. Section 27, which these men are charged under provides the police with the power to arrest and detain (without a warrant) any person suspected to be involved in foreign power threat activity for up to 48 hours initially. This Act has been criticized heavily due to its ability to target investigative journalists.

Tessaron
Tessaron
United States Military Academy and American Military University Alumni. Victor covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.

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