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As we said last week, we are taking liberty to published in-extenso the S-T follow-up resuming a story in Der-Spiegl since people continue to tell us that they can't get trough to the S-T site.

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Keep trying, there's a good related spook story in the same paper.

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September 27 1998


MI6 bosses 'use Royal Bank of Scotland to fund British spies'

by David Leppard and Chris Hastings

THE Royal Bank of Scotland is used by MI6 to fund agents abroad, according to a renegade officer.

Richard Tomlinson, a former MI6 officer, said in an interview yesterday that the Royal Bank was close to the secret service. He said it was involved in transferring money to many of MI6's undercover agents overseas.

He made his claim as Germany's central bank began an inquiry into Tomlinson's allegation that one of its officials has been working for British intelligence.

The Bundesbank spy, codenamed Orcada, is said to have provided MI6 and Treasury chiefs with details of Germany's proposed interest-rate movements and its negotiating position during talks on the Maastricht treaty.

The allegations could lead to criminal charges in Germany. They were being examined this weekend by Robin Cook, the foreign secretary.

In an interview with Der Spiegel, the German news magazine, Tomlinson threatened to reveal the identity of the Bundesbank spy if Cook denied the story.

He also named three British banks, including the Royal Bank, which he said had close contacts with MI6. He said they were interested in obtaining intelligence about Germany's economic plans.

Last night, a spokesman for the Royal said: "We are a financial institution regulated by the Bank of England and Financial Services Authority; we clearly work closely with the government, that's absolutely normal, no different from any other bank."

Tomlinson was jailed for six months last year for breaking the Official Secrets Act. In a dossier published on the Internet earlier this month, he described how MI6 had recruited a Bundesbank official.

He claims the German official has been on the MI6 payroll since 1986. His activities are carefully monitored by another MI6 officer working  under diplomatic cover in the British embassy in Bonn.

Tomlinson's claims have been greeted with scepticism by some intelligence experts in Britain. But they are being carefully examined by the Bundesbank in Frankfurt.

Wolfgang Moerke, the bank's chief spokesman, said: "We take these allegations very seriously. But we will wait until the end of our investigation before we comment any further."

Otto Hauser, a German government spokesman, hinted that Tomlinson's allegations could be referred to the prosecutor if the bank finds evidence of a mole.

A Foreign Office spokesman said Cook would study details of the allegations over the next few days. John Wadham, Tomlinson's lawyer, passed a dossier to the Foreign Office and to the parliamentary committee on intelligence and security chaired by Tom King last week.

Wadham said he could not discuss the claims because of the Official Secrets Act but they related to "malpractice and illegality by MI6".

In letters to the parliamentary committee, Tomlinson claimed MI6 had also targeted other allies, including France, Spain, Italy and Switzerland. He said MI6 had a special unit which tried to steal economic and military secrets from Britain's European partners.

His letters also reveal details of an alleged MI6 proposal to assassinate President Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia.

Speaking from Switzerland, where he is effectively in hiding from the British authorities, Tomlinson said that he wanted Cook to act on his claims about the Milosevic assassination plot and the Bundesbank spy.

Wadham also represents David Shayler, a former MI5 officer, who is in jail in France awaiting extradition to London on suspicion of breaching the Official Secrets Act.

Last month Cook ordered a review of Shayler's claims that MI6 was involved in a plot to kill Colonel Gadaffi of Libya. The inquiry found no evidence of direct MI6 involvement.

Shayler will appear in front of a French judge on Wednesday to ask for bail, writes Nicholas Rufford. His parents were allowed to see him for the first time in La Santé prison last week.

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Copyright 1998 Times Newspapers Ltd.

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Our comments :

The accusations against the Royal Bank of Scotland are particulary significant. We published similar exposures during 1987 in a series of articles in books and TV programs in French and German on "Arms for Iran". We had acquired thousands of documents thanks to a series of police raids in Sweden, Italy, France and the U.S.A. newspapers shewing the role of Royal Ordonance, I.C.I and the Royal Bank of Scotland in a massive trafic of weapons to Islamic revulotionnary Iran. A resumé of the story was published in English in the Sunday-Times Insight page in 1987 and 1993.

Most of the international association of companies (the Cartel des Poudres) that had supplied Iran with weapons was also busily supplying with the Irak of Saddam Hussein. Various European and even some Britsh papers published accusations and documents against employees of the Midland Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

While British Secret Services and the Midland managment were clearly involvment in the Midland Bank financing of Saddams weapons trafic was clear, it's quite possible that Royal Bank of Scotland employees were operating for their own account.


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