Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Spy saga - Radiation found in more locations

Four central London locations are now being investigated

In a sinister twist it has been found that traces of radioactivity have been found at the offices of Boris Berezovsky in Down Street, Mayfair. It brings the total number of sites now under investigation to five [BBC]. The Russian billionaire and critic of the Kremlin has so far made no comment. It has been reported that Mr Litvinenko arrived in London to assassinate Mr Berezovsky in 2000 but the former KGB spy decided instead to warn the businessman and abandon his mission. As has been reported here, this has similarities to a case in the 1950s when Nikolai Khokhlov was sent to West Germany to kill Georgi Okolovich, a prominent dissident Russian émigré. After converting to Christianity Khokholov abandoned his mission and warned the Russian dissident. Khokhlov was then targeted by the KGB and poisoned by radioactive Thallium. He survived after intensive treatment. Another location which has been locked down by authorities is the fourth floor of 25 Grosvenor Street, headquarters of security and risk management company Erinys.
A Mirror reporter is said to have had tests along with 3 others connected with the sushi bar and hotel where Alexander Litvinenko had frequented. The Daily Mirror journalist is said to have undergone radiological tests following a visit to Italy where he had met Mario Scaramello in Italy. Mr Scaramella had met with Mr Litvinenko in London on the 1st November to inform him they were both on a ‘hit list’ [Channel 4 News]. In an ‘Exclusive’ story, the Daily Mail stated that Mario Scaramella was a ‘security consultant’ who ‘headed an organisation which tracked down nuclear waste including soviet nuclear missiles left over from the cold war.’ His credentials in this area have been well documented. Earlier this year he aided Italian authorities in capturing a number of people involved in the smuggling of Uranium. The Daily Mail quoted him as saying,"I was also looking into the trafficking of arms from the former Soviet Union and possible links with Italian terrorist groups. During this I was passed a document that said there were former KGB men in San Marino looking at selling nuclear military material.” He told the police that 10kg of uranium was hidden in a suitcase and on its way to Italy on June 2. Four arrests were made and the uranium found. It was enriched uranium 90 per cent capable of making a small atomic bomb. Also an electronic target device was seized. The uranium plot came a year after Professor Scaramella had announced he possessed information about 20 nuclear warheads ‘lost’ by a Soviet submarine in the Bay of Naples. The missiles were part of the arsenal of a K-8 submarine which sunk in April 1970 after a fire with a loss of 52 lives. Of the 24 missiles on board, only 4 were ever recovered [Soviet submarine incident]. It has also been announced that Mr Scaramella is also undergoing tests for radiation poisoning. This brings the total number of people under observation to five. It is believed the nuclear expert is also in protective police custody in London after arriving in the UK early Thursday morning.

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