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The spy who blitzed Canada

In the twilight of the Cold War, East German spies scooped up Canadian secrets on … imitation leather and welding rods.

In the twilight of the Cold War, East German spies scooped up Canadian secrets on … imitation leather and welding rods.

But they also went after cutting edge military technology.

New research shows the Stasi, the massive intelligence arm of the now-defunct German Democratic Republic, also obtained confidences of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, including the names of employees.

One shadowy agent codenamed Siegfried collected dozens of pieces of documentation such as residence and work permits — information spies could use to slip into Canada.

The revelations of the Stasi’s wide-ranging information scooping were unearthed by Helmut Muller-Enbergs of the German federal commission for the Stasi archives in Berlin.

His findings will be presented at a conference in Ottawa on Saturday.

The Hauptverwaltung A, the Stasi foreign intelligence service, had “undoubtedly deep insights into the domestic and foreign affairs of Canada,” Muller-Enbergs says.

For eight years beginning in 1981, Siegfried the spy passed more than five dozen pieces of intelligence to Stasi headquarters.

The reports included information on passports, residence permits, car registration, unemployment insurance and income taxes.

 
 
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