As tensions between the United States and Russia continue to build, it is now being reported by Russian news agency, TASS, that an American citizen named Paul Whelan has been detained by FSB officers.
“On December 28, 2018, a US citizen Paul Whelan was detained by officers of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation during a spy mission in Moscow,” the Public Relations Center of the Ministry said on Monday. “The investigative department of the FSB of Russia against a US citizen opened a criminal case under article 276 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Espionage).”
Further details of the accusations were not made public, but Whelan could face between 10 and 20 years in prison if convicted of such a crime.
The investigation, however, is still ongoing according to the Ministry, and it doesn’t appear as though formal charges have yet been brought. There has been no reaction yet from U.S. or Russian officials on the arrest.
Over the past several years, a man named Paul Whelan has been in the Russian news, as an individual being involved with tourism surrounding the 2018 World Cup in Moscow. He appears to have been the General Manager for Match Accommodation 2018. Hill Reporter, however, has confirmed that this is not the same Paul Whelan who has been detained on espionage allegations.