The man, who pretended to be the 33-year-old Brazilian Victor Muller Fereira, but is actually the 33-year-old Russian Sergei Vladimirovich Cherkasov, was arrested in the Netherlands last spring. The General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) then announced that the man had already been hired as an intern at the ICC, but was arrested at Schiphol shortly before he was to start there after “all alarm bells” had gone off at the AIVD. Cherkasov turned out to work for the Russian military intelligence service GRU and could have gained access to information and people at the ICC that are very interesting to the GRU, according to the AIVD at the time.
The then 36-year-old Russian was sent back to Brazil, where he was charged with identity fraud and sentenced to 15 years in prison. However, Russia has asked for his extradition. The US may try to stop this with the indictment.
The US Justice Department bases the indictment on alleged acts by Cherkasov while a student at Johns Hopkins University in Washington between 2018 and 2020. He then allegedly posed as a representative of a foreign power and passed on information about Americans to Russian intelligence .