"All of his appointments have been suspended, and pending the ongoing investigations in the USA we are unable to comment further", wrote Dharshini Subbiah, a senior communications specialist at Duke-NUS, in an email to The Chronicle Thursday morning.
A Mexican national was arrested and charged with acting as an unregistered Russian agent as part of an operation in which he allegedly tracked a confidential USA government source in Miami at the request of a Russian intelligence officer, the Justice Department said Tuesday. The agent reportedly told Cabrera Fuentes to keep their meeting secret.
The official had directed Fuentes to rent an apartment in Miami-Dade County, Florida, but told Fuentes not to use his name for the property and to not inform his family about their meetings. Fuentes admitted to law enforcement officers that he was directed by a Russian government official to conduct the operation, the Justice Department said.
Fuentes was allegedly recruited in 2019 and twice flew to Moscow, the last time being this month, to meet with the official, the Justice Department said.
In February, the Mexican national traveled to Moscow where he was given the physical description of a vehicle being used by a "U.S. government source". The DOJ release did not elaborate further on the source's identity.
He was told to locate the vehicle and obtain its license plate number, while also noting where it was located.
On 13 February this year, Fuentes travelled to Miami from Mexico City. A security guard at an apartment complex spotted him as he tailgated a vehicle while entering the property.
The couple drove to the source's place of residence on Friday and Fuentes' wife took a photo of the car's license plate, the Justice Department said. Fuentes' wife was not named in the DOJ release. The official also allegedly gave Fuentes "a hardcopy printout" of Fuentes' Gmail account, showing correspondence between Fuentes and a Miami realtor from 2015.
On the evening of February 16, 2020, Fuentes and his travel companion arrived at Miami International Airport to leave to United States, on their way to Mexico City.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspected the phone of Fuentes's [wife] and found a close-up image of the license plate of the U.S. Government source's vehicle in the "recently deleted folder" of her phone. It was soon discovered she had sent Fuentes a copy of the photo via WhatsApp. The official, according to the statement, told Fuentes to "locate the auto, obtain the source's vehicle license plate number, and note the physical location of the source's vehicle".
Yahoo News Singapore has reached out to the Singapore authorities on the matter.