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Belgium high-tech firm was Soviet spy front

Belgium has expelled at least six East Europeans for economic espionage and uncovered an electronics company in Brussels that was a front for Soviet technology spies, a senior official said.

The government official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters the front was uncovered after weekend expulsions of one Soviet and three Romanian diplomats and an employee of the Romanian Embassy. He said at least one Soviet employee of the company had also been expelled.

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The expulsions followed the arrest more than a week ago of Eugene Michiels, an East-bloc trade specialist in the Belgian Foreign Ministry, who has admitted selling documents to the diplomats, the official said.