US report sheds light on mysterious Chinese front company

Lev Leviev

Lev Leviev

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
A new report by a US Congressional commission sheds light on a mysterious Chinese corporate group, which intelligence observers have long-suspected to be a front company for Chinese spy agencies. Named after the street address of its headquarters, the Hong Kong-registered 88 Queensway Group is noted for its dynamic investments around the world, particularly in Africa, where the Chinese government has been extremely active in recent years. But new information (.pdf) compiled by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission of the US Congress, alleges that the 88 Queensway Group “falsely represents itself as a private business when it actually is [an arm of the] Chinese intelligence community [and] public security apparatus”. Read more of this post

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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”. Read more of this post

France’s former spy chief refuses to testify in Angolagate trial

Yves Bertrand

Yves Bertrand

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
France’s former spy chief has refused to testify as a defense witness in the infamous Angolagate trial, which probes illegal arms shipments from France to Angola in the early 1990s. 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. Forty-two people are implicated in the case, some of whom are facing charges of money laundering, tax evasion, as well as bribery of French government officials responsible for overseeing commercial shipments to Angola. The 42 include Jean-Christophe Mitterrand, son of the late French President Francois Mitterrand, former Interior Minister Charles Pasqua, and two businessmen, Pierre Falcone, from France, and Israeli-Russian tycoon Arkady Gaydamak. Interestingly, Falcone and Gaydamak stated during the trial that they planned the illegal weapons shipments to Angola with the secret approval of the French government, which was hoping to gain access to Angolan oil in return for the weapons handout. Read more of this post