“For Petrov and Boshirov.” Media learns about FSB attempts to recruit agent of British visa application center in Moscow
Now-former employee of the center is seeking asylum in the US.
Russian intelligence services attempted to recruit an employee of the British visa application center in Moscow in order to make out documents for Aleksander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov’s departure from the country. Petrov and Boshirov are considered being responsible for poisoning of the Skripals, report The Insider and Bellingcat in a new chapter of their investigation.
According to the papers of the case, FSB (Russia’s Federal Security Service) had an access to the CCTV located inside the building of the British visa center, as well a scheme of its computer network. They attempted to issue visas “for their two persons” with the help of a loyal staff member. The Insider and Bellingcat believe it was about Petrov and Boshirov, because the incident tool place shortly before their trip to Salisbury.
The article notes that Russians while applying for a British visa ought to go through two stages of a documents’ check: initially, documents are checked by employees of a visa center TLSсontact; then, they are sent to Great Britain’s MIA.
The journalists examined the former visa center’s employee’s testimonies. After he was recruited by FSB, he started seeking asylum in the US, due to the fact that the Russian intelligence services “strongly encouraged” him towards cooperation.
In particular, he had to send the FSB-needed passports directly to the consulate, bypassing the visa center’s check. The data base of the visa center should not have had any traces of these documents’ check.
British MIA told the journalists that the visa center’s employees do not take part in the decision making process as to granting visa.
CrimeRussia had earlier reported that The Insider and Bellingcat believed Petrov and Boshirov were not the Russians’ real names. In fact, they are Aleksander Mishkin and Anatoly Chepiga who are the GRU (Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate) officers and even have the country’s highest state honor - titles of the country’s Hero.
In September, Petrov and Boshirov were interviewed by Margarita Simonyan, an editor-in-chief at RT TV-channel. They stated they do not work for military intelligence services and had not heard about Skripal - they are being accused of his attempted assassination. They also said they had come to Great Britains’s Salisbury as tourists to sight see a famous 123 meters spire at Salisbury cathedral.
Every big Russian city has ‘untouchable' people who are beyond the reach of the law enforcement authorities – generals, judges, mayors, etc. Despite overwhelming evidence sufficient to prosecute them, such persons cannot be busted without authorization from the federal center. There is also another type of corrupt officials: their deeds are well-known – but these people are so generous, hospitable, and understanding that no one is willing to arrest them.