If there’s one thing the world fears of Russia, it’s their highly trained intelligence and spy network. Just this month, a widow jeweler claiming to be a socialite was uncovered to be a GRU (Main Intelligence Directorate) working with NATO staff for over a decade.

According to investigations, the spy was posing as a jet-set jewelry designer who began her work by building her contacts within NATO’s naval headquarters. She had a Latin accent and a panache suggesting she came from old money. Eventually, she became a regular in an exclusive social circuit that included significant names in the Allied Joint Forces Command in Naples (HQ of the US Navy’s Sixth Fleet).

She called herself Maria Adela Kuhfeldt Rivera, matched with a perfect origin story. On Aug. 8, 2005, the Independencia District in Lima, Peru, received an application for an inscription of a new Peruvian citizen in their database (most probably with the use of highly curated fake papers). She even had lawyers to back her birth certificate that stated she was born in the town of Callao. The birth certificate notes she was born on Sept. 1, 1978. The civil registry initially asked for further information and additional evidence. Her lawyers provided more documents like a baptism certificate and this “authentic church document” shows baby Maria Adela was baptized two weeks after she was born.

Maria Adela Kuhfeldt Rivera

Still, the registry was not convinced. How did this person pop out of nowhere? So, they reached out to the parish priest at the Cristo Liberador. But, the priest, Rvd. Jose Enrique Herrera Quiroga had apparently become the church’s founder and inaugural priest nine years after the supposed baptism. Then, on Dec. 22, 2006, the Peruvian Ministry of Justice found out that there were three fraudulent citizenship applications that included “Maria Adela’s.”

Maria Adela

After the failure in Peru, GRU commanders persisted and pushed for a Russian passport in 2006, with the exact name and birth date. According to their databases, her cover story was supposedly a “leading specialist” at Moscow State University. In the interviews with the people who knew and befriended “Maria Adela,” they said she would tell everyone she was born to a German Father and Peruvian mother in Callao, Peru. Then, her mother traveled to Moscow to attend the Olympic Games, but her mother received an urgent message asking them to return. Apparently, “Maria Adela” was left in Russia in the care of a Soviet family. Her “mother” would never return.