A Russian spy reportedly infiltrated the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) command offices. She is said to have had an affair with a member of NATO staff while posing as a socialite jeweller, who had set up a jewelry business in Naples.

As Maria Adela Kuhfeldt Rivera became a familiar face on NATO social scene, she told her Italian friends that she had a German father and a Peruvian mother. She shared that she was born in the city of Callao in Peru, reported Bellingcat. The honeytrap spy had traveled in Europe before settling in 2013 in Naples, where NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command is based.

At the time, she set up a jeweler’s shop called Serein. She was able to become friends with NATO staff after taking over secretary at the Naples branch of the international Lions Club. One NATO employee admitted to having had a romantic affair with her.

In reality, she reportedly was a Russian spy, a Glavnoye Razvedyvatelnoye Upravlenie (GRU) officer who was a deep-cover agent. The person is based in a foreign location for a long period of time and is able to build roots while also disclosing information.

Russia is known to use deep-cover agents. It was particularly common during the Cold War in the Soviet era, according to Mirror.

Bellingcat worked alongside Der Spiegel, The Insider and La Repubblica to investigate. Bellingcat started to follow Rivera as her passport was in a range that was being used by GRU operatives. Bellingcat's CEO Christo Grozev said that looking more closely at Rivera, it was clear that she had traveled on several Russian passports within this range. In this range was also a GRU operative who was reportedly involved in the attack on former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury in 2018.

The investigative reporters noted that Rivera had purchased a ticket from Naples to Moscow on Sept. 15, 2018. It was a day after Bellingcat and The Insider had exposed that a range of passports were being used by Russians. An article was published saying that the two Salisbury agents, who were traveling under the names of Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, had suspicious passports.

The Telegraph reported that the deep-cover agent then fled to Moscow in 2018 after spying in Europe for the Kremlin for 10 years. Rivera was out of the NATO social scene seemingly due to the threat of being caught.

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