MI6 bosses have written to serving and ex-members of our intelligence services telling them to call a hotline if “tapped up” by President Putin’s spooks wanting to corrupt them
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British spies are on red alert amid fears Russian agents are plotting to corrupt them.
MI6 bosses wrote to serving and ex-members of our intelligence services telling them to call a hotline if “tapped up”.
It warned real-life James Bonds that they are seen as “high priority targets” by President Putin’s spooks.
Relatives could be targeted and business interests used as a lever, the letter said.
It told operatives to “politely refuse” any approach and to alert chiefs “at the earliest opportunity”.
Russia is said to have more spies in the UK than any time since the Cold War – as many as 300, according to one estimate.
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The letter says: “The Russian services continue to be very active and to approach members of Her Majesty’s Government.
“It is clear the Russians regard both current and former retired members as high priority targets.”
MI5 chief Ken McCallum said in July British intelligence had clocked 10,000 approaches by foreign spies seeking to manipulate ordinary people here.