A UK national who used to work as a guard at the British embassy in Berlin, Germany has been accused of spying for Russia. He has been charged with nine offences under the Official Secrets Act.

David Smith, 57, was arrested by German police in August last year for allegedly collecting information between October 2020 and August 2021 to pass it to a foreign state. The German law enforcement agencies believe that he received a monetary reward for spying.

"The accused received a cash payment in an unspecified amount in return," the federal prosecutor's office had said in a statement. He was extradited from Germany yesterday and is due to appear in Westminster Magistrates' Court later today.

"He is accused of seven offences of collecting information with the intent of sending it to the Russian authorities," said Nick Price, head of Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division at Crown Prosecution Service.

"One (offence) of attempting communication and one of providing information to a person he believed was a member of the Russian authorities," Price continued.

"After reviewing the case and authorising charges, we obtained an extradition warrant and worked closely with our German counterparts in order to bring Mr. Smith back to the UK," he added.

David Smith was detained on August 10 in the eastern city of Potsdam. His home and place of work were searched and he was remanded in custody Wednesday by an investigating judge.

His arrest was the result of a joint operation by German and British authorities and the investigation was conducted by the Met's Counter Terrorism Command and German counterparts, wrote Skynews.

Relations between London and Moscow have been at a low point since the attempted poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal in British Salisbury in 2018. The Kremlin has denied any involvement in either case.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent economic sanctions imposed by the UK on Russia have only worsened the relations between the two countries.

British Embassy
British Embassy in Berlin. Reuters / Thomas Peter