Norwegian authorities said on Friday, September 22, that they have dropped the allegations of espionage against a 25-year-old Malaysian student. Instead, they are now holding him on suspicion of a “serious financial crime.”
The Malaysian student was arrested in Norway on September 8, for illegally eavesdropping by using various technical devices. A court ordered he’d be held in pre-trial custody for four weeks, on suspicion of espionage and intelligence operations.
The original allegations against him have now changed, with police saying his use of signal technology was an effort to gain information for financial gain.
Marianne Bender, a prosecutor for the Norwegian police’s economic crime department, said the Malaysian man used devices for mobile phone surveillance in an attempt to commit “gross frauds”.
Bender calls the case “large and extensive,” and adds, that it probably involves organized crime with international implications.