In recent days, Greeks have been watching a true espionage case, with the protagonist Irina Alexandrovna-Smireva, who lived and worked since 2018 as Maria Tsalla, a photographer and owner of a knitting store in Pagrati.

We learned what the Soviet spy term “illegal” means – another life of false evidence. Specifically, the (about) 35-year-old Irina had “chosen” the name of a dead infant since December 1991.

She was the girl next door, a simple, everyday and unchallenging presence – as a so-called spy should be.

Read about: “Maria Tsalla”: Who is the Russian spy “with the crochet” (video-photos)

She even had a partner although she was married to another Russian – also a spy – who was on assignment in Brazil, under the false identity Daniel Campos.

The countdown to its disclosure began with the detection of an attempt by a third country to access the data of deceased Greek citizens, an internationally recognized practice of Russia’s Intelligence Services to create the special category of spies nicknamed “illegals”.

Irina – Maria, at the risk of being fully exposed, was recalled by the Russian authorities and left Greece at the beginning of January.

Her last communication with Greece

Her last presence in Greece appears on January 4, 2023 based on her mobile phone numbers.

However, a few days later she is said to be in contact with both her landlord and the employee at the store where she kept and asked to send her cat to her, which was not possible in the end, as a special certificate was required.

The different business address

The Russian spy, however, seems to have tried to hide her tracks from the Greek tax authorities too, since she declared her residence at Arrianou Street in Pagrati, but at 16 Tzaferi Street in Gazi, as the headquarters of her sole proprietorship.

Read more: Under the microscope of the Authorities the contacts, travels and banking transactions of “Maria Tsalla” in Greece

Who was her husband?

“Maria Tsalla”, however, in addition to the partner she had in Greece, was already married to another spy known as “Gerard Daniel Campos Wittich”, who lived in Brazil with fake papers and identity.

“Wittich” had dual citizenship: one of Brazil and one of Austria.

He seems to have been on holiday in Malaysia lately. However, his traces have been lost and it is assumed that he too was called for an immediate return to Russia, together with “Maria Tsalla” from Athens.