Convicted gun smuggler ‘worked for French intelligence’

Arcadi Gaydamak

Arcadi Gaydamak

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
A shady gun smuggler convicted earlier this year in France for illegally selling weapons to Angola, was a French intelligence agent, according to a French newspaper. Speaking to Le Figaro, Charles Pasqua, France’s former interior minister, said that Arcady Gaydamak, who fled to Israel to escape imprisonment in France, was formerly an agent of DST, France’s domestic intelligence agency. Pasqua even said that Gaydamak, who holds Israeli, Russian and French citizenship, was secretly cited by former French President Jacques Chirac for his secret intelligence work. Speaking to Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, Gaydamak confirmed Pasqua’s revelations, and said his work was “so secret” that “the citations spoke of his contribution to ‘agriculture’ instead”. Gaydamak’s conviction was part of the infamous Angolagate trial, which probed illegal arms shipments from France to Angola in the early 1990s, in violation of the 1994 Lusaka Protocol. The arms scandal, which was uncovered in 1995 by the French authorities, involved unauthorized shipments of over $600 million-worth of weapons to the MPLA-dominated government in post-civil-war Angola. Pasqua’s revelations might explain Gaydamak’s insistence during the trial (reported by intelNews) that he helped sell weapons to Angola on  secret orders of the French government, which was hoping to gain access to Angolan oil in return for the weapons handout. It’s worth noting that Le Figaro also points out that the French authorities at some point suspected Gaydamak for secretly working for Russian intelligence.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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