A French official has been taken into custody on suspicion of spying for North Korea, a number of foreign media outlets reported Tuesday.
According to reports citing unnamed French sources, Benoit Quennedey, an official with the French Senate, was arrested on suspicion of “collection and delivery of information to a foreign power likely to undermine the fundamental interests of the nation.”
|Benoit Quennedey. Screen captured from YouTube|
Quennedey is said to be undergoing questioning by French intelligence agents. His home in Paris and his parents’ home near Dijon in eastern France are reported to have been raided by investigators.
Quennedey, president of the Franco-Korean Friendship Association, is reported to have been under investigation since March.
The Franco-Korean Friendship Association is said to have connections to North Korea, and Quennedey has reportedly visited the North as part of the organization.
In an interview with a Korean news organization in 2014, Quennedey claimed that he was monitored by Seoul’s National Intelligence Service due to his North Korea-related activities.
He also claimed that Seoul’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs had attempted to get the French Foreign Ministry to remove him from his job at the Senate.