Nowitschok Poison Attack: Suspects traveled with suspicious passports

Nowitschok Poison Attack: Suspects traveled with suspicious passports

The British government accused Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boschirov, with the nerve poison Novichok an attack on the Russian double agent Sergei Skripal to have perpetrated. However, they themselves said on Russian television that they were just tourists, they just wanted to see the beautiful city of Salisbury. Now the research team has Bellingcat together with the Russian medium The Insider Information published, which rather speak for the British version (here the report in English),

Thus, the passports with which Petrov and Boschirov traveled include some conspicuous features indicating that the documents were issued by a secret service as a camouflage identity. Bellingcat and The Insider rely on an unnamed source, which therefore has access to the central Russian passport database.

The passports of both were issued according to the 2009 report. They were named Alexander Yevgenievich Petrov and Ruslan Timurovich Boschirov. Birth dates and birth locations matched those of the Aeroflot passenger list and passport photos to those published by the UK government. However, there would be no passport documents or information in the Russian central database dated to those two names before 2009. This is unusual, as normally all previous documents issued to this person are recorded in the database.

"Top secret"

That leaves the conclusion, writes Bellingcat, that this is the code name of a secret service. The russian news page Fontanka supports this argument. she reports (here in Russian)in that the passport numbers of the two documents are very close to each other. The passports of Petrov and Boschirov would have the ending numbers … 1294 and … 1297. The passports must therefore have been issued almost simultaneously.

Bellingcat and The Insider have looked at the two passports with the intervening numbers … 1295 and … 1296 and also found in these the same abnormalities as the pass of Petrov.

Because above all, this attracted the attention of investigative journalists. In the database there are special notes under his name: a stamp with the inscription "Do not give out information" and a handwritten note "There is a letter C.C." According to Bellingcat, the abbreviation CC stands for совершенно секретно, Russian for "top secret". Such comments would not exist in normal passports, they would only be found by those who would be used as a cover identity by Russian intelligence services.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said in the House of Commons in early September that the two accused were members of the Russian military intelligence service GRU. You have enough evidence that they associate with the attack.

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