The authorities in Albania arrested two Russian men and a Ukrainian woman suspected of espionage on Saturday after one of the men was found inside a weapons factory, Albania’s Defense Ministry said.
A 24-year-old Russian man sprayed two security officers with a chemical after he was found trying to take photos inside the factory in the city of Gramsh. He was arrested, and the authorities detained another Russian man, 33, and a Ukrainian woman, 25, who were outside the factory in a vehicle. Both are believed to be accompanying the 24-year-old man found in the factory.
Edi Rama, the prime minister of Albania, wrote on Twitter that the three were suspected of espionage.
Ora News, an Albanian broadcaster, reported that the three had told the police that they were bloggers who liked to document old military bases in former communist countries.
The two guards were sent to a hospital in Tirana, the capital, for specialized treatment and were expected to survive, the ministry said.
The factory in Gramsh has long been used to manufacture assault rifles including the AK-47. It was not immediately clear what equipment the plant, founded 60 years ago, now produces, but the Albanian Defense Ministry said on its website that it provided manufacturing services for the defense industry.