‘Lord of War’ weapons smuggler enjoys Russian protection

Viktor Bout

Viktor Bout

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
The case of notorious arms smuggler Viktor Bout is well known. Born in Dushanbe, Soviet Tajikistan, in 1967, Bout served in the GRU (Soviet military intelligence) until the collapse of the USSR, at which point he began supplying weapons to shady groups, ranging from Congolese rebels and Angolan paramilitaries to the Taliban and al-Qaeda. In March of 2008, Bout, known as ‘Lord of War’, was finally arrested by the Royal Thai Police, after a tip by US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officers. The latter had managed to lure Bout to Thailand by pretending to be Colombian FARC arms procurers. Recently, Washington scored a second victory by convincing Thai authorities to extradite Bout to the United States on terrorism charges. Presumably, Bout will be tried as an arms smuggler acting on his own accord. But is this right? Read more of this post

News you may have missed #300

  • Indonesian activists capture government spy. Activists of the United Indonesia Movement (GIB) have captured a military intelligence officer, identified only as E.S., who was allegedly spying on their plans to prepare an anti-government rally on Tuesday. Last August, the Indonesian government denied rumors it planned to begin spying on Mosques around the country.
  • Former Monaco head-spy recounts meeting with Prince Albert. Former FBI counterintelligence agent Robert Eringer, who until recently was spymaster to Prince Albert II of Monaco, recounts how he was appointed to lead the principality’s intelligence service by the Prince himself.

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News you may have missed #0194

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News you may have missed #0187

  • Cambodia arrests Thai for spying on exile leader. Cambodian authorities said the man, Siwarak Chothipong, who works for the Cambodia Air Traffic Service, spied on the flight itinerary of visiting former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who has been living in exile since a 2006 military coup in Thailand. The Thai government has rejected the charge.
  • CIA’s Panetta to visit India, Pakistan. CIA director Leon Panetta will visit Pakistan and India for three days, starting on November 20. IntelNews will be keeping an eye on his visit.
  • Former Monaco spymaster says prince invokes immunity. More on the saga of former FBI counterintelligence agent Robert Eringer, who until recently was spymaster to prince Albert II of Monaco, and is now suing him for €360,000 ($542,000) in alleged unpaid income. Eringer’s lawyers have accused Albert of invoking head-of-state immunity, “an absolute defense used by dictators around the world to avoid accountability in US courts”.

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News you may have missed #0172

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Prince Albert’s former spymaster airs Monaco’s ‘dirty secrets’

Prince Albert II

Prince Albert II

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Last April I wrote that former FBI counterintelligence agent Robert Eringer, who until recently was spymaster to prince Albert II of Monaco, was completing a book on his experiences in the tiny principality, a project he began after leaving his post. But that’s not all. Eringer has now sued the prince for €360,000 ($542,000) in alleged unpaid income, including a severance pay package. The London Sunday Times, which has “obtained” a copy of Eringer’s lawsuit, says that the document “lays bare some of [Monaco’s] dirtiest secrets”. Among them are Eringer’s claims that he investigated activities in Monaco by Russian and Italian mobsters, that he was asked to “assist” a young woman who was romantically involved with prince Albert, and that he went after video evidence showing “a woman performing a sex act on the prince” at his 40th birthday party. Read more of this post

An April Fools story from Robert Eringer

Albert II

Albert II

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
In his latest blog entry, former FBI counterintelligence agent Robert Eringer, who until recently was spymaster to Prince Albert II of Monaco, recounts an interesting story of deceit at the gaffe-prone Royal House of Monaco. According to Eringer, the tiny principality’s ruler, Prince Albert II, was recently fooled by an attractive 24-year-old blonde into believing she was the daughter of former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The woman, whose name was Ekaterini (Catherine) was in fact Greek and spoke not a word of Russian. Eringer reports that the young woman convinced the Monegasque royal to patronize the local chapter of Green Cross International, an environmental action group she claimed to speak for. Read more of this post