In the days of the Cold War, people used the initials KGB to refer to the much-feared Soviet espionage agency. Now, law enforcement authorities in Washington are still campaigning against the KGB. But a different one.

In the District, the KGB Crew stands for Krazy Graf Brothers, according to a D.C. police official, who said police think the group is involved in “tagging” — painting graffiti on — buildings around the city.

Efforts have been made in recent years to divert the energies of taggers to socially acceptable channels. But authorities say illicit tagging has continued.

Police Cmdr. Andrew Solberg, who has jurisdiction for much of Northeast Washington, said that this month his officers arrested four people associated with the KGB Crew. A fifth person was also arrested, he said.

In addition to the tag KGB, Solberg said, police believe the group is responsible for such tags as Che, Aera KAE, Huf, Gator and G8R.

Solberg said police believe the KGB Crew to be responsible for tags on warehouses, shops and businesses, as well as railroad tunnels, schools and houses of worship throughout his district and elsewhere.

It was not immediately clear whether adoption of the KGB tag was intended as an homage to the Soviet organization. Similarly unclear was whether Che was used to refer to Ernesto “Che” Guevara, the Argentine Marxist revolutionary.

In addition to this month’s arrests, Solberg said, three search warrants were served in connection with the “tagging” investigation. He said the warrants led to the discovery of a gun, drugs and drug paraphernalia.

Police also found, according to Solberg, “dozens of cans of aerosol spray paint.”