Croatia to extradite whistleblower who alleged Dutch oil firm spent millions in bribes

Monaco

A WHISTLEBLOWER WHO CLAIMS that a major Dutch oil firm paid millions in bribes to officials in return for lucrative contracts, is to be extradited to Monaco, following his arrest in Croatia last summer. Jonathan Taylor, of Southampton, United Kingdom, was a lawyer working for SBM Offshore, a Netherlands-based group of companies that provide services to the global offshore oil and gas industry. In 2012, he leaked documents allegedly showing that SBM Offshore “paid €185 million [$217 million] in bribes in several countries between 2005 and 2011”, in return for being awarded service contracts.

But SBM Offshore accused him of extortion and claimed that he stole proprietary documents and then tried to blackmail his employer, asking for $3 million in exchange for staying silent about the alleged bribes. Following this accusation, authorities in Monaco, which hosts an SBM Offshore regional facility, issued an Interpol “red notice” for Taylor’s detention. A red notice is essentially a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally detain a person of interest, pending a possible extradition.

In July of this year, Taylor was arrested in Dubrovnik, Croatia, where he was holidaying with his family, by local police acting on the Interpol’s red notice. Immediately following his arrest, the government of Monaco sought to have him extradited there “for questioning”, even though he had not been charged with a crime. According to Monegasque police, Taylor was wanted “for questioning to determine whether or he should be charged” with a crime.

Taylor and his lawyers deny the claims against him, which they describe as acts of retaliation for him having blown the whistle on SBM Offshore. Now, however, authorities in Monaco have summoned Taylor to appear before a magistrate, after the Supreme Court of Croatia upheld an extradition ruling that was issued by a lower court earlier this year. This means that Croatian authorities should soon be extraditing Taylor to Monaco, as per the principality’s request. However, Taylor currently remains in Croatia and he and his supporters have urged the Croatian authorities to not comply with Monaco’s extradition request.

Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 21 September 2021 | Permalink

‘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

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  • 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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  • 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.
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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