Russia detains persons involved in leaking Skripal poisoners’ personal data

The Russian news outlet Rosbalt reports that the FSB has identified those involved in leaking the personal data of Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov, who were accused by London of poisoning former GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal.

According to the agency, the FSB officers executed more than 60 warrants over a “short period” aimed at stopping the leaks the data. “First of all, they came to private detectives and the so-called "pushers", those who were known to sell data from closed databases,” said the source.

The interlocutor said that many cases were initiated in accordance with certain articles of the Russian Criminal Code including “Obtaining and Disclosure of Commercial, Tax or Banking Classified information," “Exceeding of Authority by a Private Detective” and “Violation of Privacy.”

According to the source’s data, a border officer of the northwest region and an employee of the Federal Tax Service department are currently detained. The border officer in particular could have sold information on foreign trips of Petrov and Boshirov, as well as of other persons.

The source emphasized that the criminal cases aren’t related to the suspects in Salisbury poisoning. “They were initiated because of information leaks of other persons' personal data,” the source concluded.

On September 14, Bellingcat published the results of a joint investigation with The Insider on the Salisbury incident, which included copies of Petrov and Boshirov’s documents. One of the images showed Petrov’s passport information from the FMS database, with a stamp stating “Do not provide any information”, and the abbreviation “S.S.” which in Russian can stand for “top secret”, indicating that Petrov is an intelligence agent.

One day after the publication, Petrov and Boshirov gave an interview to Margarit Simonyan, chief editor of the Kremlin-back TV station RT. In the interview, the Russians claimed not to be involved in the Salisbury incident, and that they have no idea where the Skripals’ house is. They claim to have traveled to the city as tourists to visit the Catholic cathedral and other attractions in the city. London dismissed the interview as “lies” and confirmed that Petrov and Boshirov remain the chief suspects in the Salisbury poisoning case.

  Russia, Britain, Salisbury, Skripal case