TALLINN - Director General of the Security Police Board Raivo Aeg acknowledged this month that Aleksei Dressen was not the first official on the board of the Estonian Security Police (KaPo) whom the Russian security services tried to recruit, reports Eesti Paevaleht. When asked about Dressen’s motives for committing treason against Estonia, Aeg stated that several motives – financial gain, personal ambition, disappointment in his career – acted together to push Dressen to provide the Russian FSB with information.
The head of the Security Police Board explained that Russian special services try to find emotional issues of great importance for the person they try to recruit to provide them with information and services. “In 2001, when Dressen gave his definitive agreement to permanently cooperate with the FSB, there were setbacks in his career in the Security Police Board and this fact was clearly exploited,” he said.
Aeg said that FSB certainly has experience and know-how in recruiting operatives abroad. “Facts demonstrate that in the case of Dressen, they also made efforts to implement their experience and know-how,” he explained. “Three-year contact until cementing cooperation shows solid preparations, patience and the desire to catch the right moment. The fact that Dressen did not inform the board of the first contacts made with him made it possible for FSB to manipulate him,” said Aeg.
Aeg added that he is not authorized to disclose any specific figures, but the Security Police Board is informed that there are quite many failed recruitment attempts made by FSB.
It was on July 3 that the Harju county court sentenced Dressen (43), guilty of treason and revealing information that was for institutional use only, with a 16-year prison sentence, reported Public Broadcasting. The court decided that Viktoria Dressen (45) was guilty of aiding the treason and revealing information that was for institutional use only, and punished her with a 6-year conditional prison sentence, with a 5 year period of probation. 142,900 euros was confiscated from A. Dressen.
On Feb. 2, The Estonian Security Police detained KaPo’s senior specialist Dressen and his wife Viktoria, suspecting them of treason as they had provided the Russian Federal Security Service with confidential information for many years. Aleksei Dressen worked for KaPo since 1993 and although he progressed fast in his career path at first, was demoted ten years ago from the department head’s position due to confusion involving operative funds. He was allegedly also one of the people who compiled an inadequate risk analysis that preceded the Bronze Night events in 2007, after which he allegedly was also demoted.
KaPo suspected Dressen of working for Russia for at least the past five years, but it was hard to acquire evidence to arrest him earlier, the daily Postimees reported earlier this year. Since a certain number of people in KaPo already knew about Dressen’s cooperation with FSB in 2007, the damages caused by the suspected treasonist are most likely minimal since, most likely, materials were planted in his hands that the Estonian secret services wanted to reach the Russians.
Postimees said it has information that KaPo already started keeping an eye on Dressen five years ago but then they had to focus on the case of Hermann Simm, that KaPo had to act decisively upon getting the corresponding information from abroad. Simm was convicted of treason in 2009.
The fact that Dressen’s activities were known for a long time brings clarity to the issue of why KaPo did not fire Dressen or send him to work elsewhere, after having had several problems with him and demoting him in his position: it wanted to prevent possible harmful activities of a disappointed man who had important information.