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2 September 1998
Thanks to DH

Date: Wed, 02 Sep 1998 12:46:14 -0700


On December 27, 1997 the "Bonner rundschan" newspaper published some
materials about the activities of the foreign intelligence services on the
West German territory. The publication pays special attention to the
problem of economic espionage. In particular, the interview of
Hellenbroich, the former president of the Federal agency for the protection
of Constitution (West German BFF), is devoted to this subject. 

As the retired counter-intelligence officer says, "the Russian spies are
specially active in the sphere of economic intelligence". As the
confirmation to this thesis, the article says that last year BFF exposed 60
Russian intelligence agents in Bonn and 56 intelligence agents in Berlin.
The agents had the cover-ups of the positions in the embassy, trade mission
and the joint Russian-German commercial services. In his opinion, specially
active are also the special services of the Ukraine, Byelorossia,
Uzbekistan and Kazakhastan, also of the Arab countries, Iran and the
countries of the Asian and Pacific region. 

The former BFF leader recognized also that West Germany's partners in NATO
(in particular, France, England, USA and others) are actively engaged in
spying activities on its territory. Last March the German government had to
declare P.Hamphris, a CIA agent who worked under the cover of the US
embassy in Bonn, as a "person non grata" and him to leave the country. He
tried to recruit a highly positioned official from the ministry for economy
who had access to the high-tech information. It is believed that the spying
activities of the foreign intelligence services on the territory of the
Federal Republic of Germany causes the damage to this country in the amount
of 20 billion D-marks annually. 

According to the Prosecutor General of FRG, in 1997 alone it initiated 90
criminal charges under the article "espionage". Four people were detained
and two of them were arrested on the basis of the charges, the newspaper

But the problem of economic espionage is of no smaller concern also for
USA. According to the US magazine "Business Week", in 1996 the US FBI
initiated 800 criminal charges on the facts of stealing the commercial
information, which is twice as high in comparison to the 1994 level of the
economic espionage. 

The magazine writes that in October 1996 a law entered into force in USA
about the economic espionage. Under the law, the accused might be sentenced
for 25-years imprisonment, and the states which sent them might be
sentenced to pay the fees of up to 10 million dollars. The same crimes,
committed by the American citizens against competing firms, are punished
less severely. 

The US CIA believes that France is most active in the economic espionage.
Its runner-up is Israel, Washington's "strategic partner" in the Middle
East. And this takes place despite the fact that Israel holds the first
place as per the amount of the US real economic and financial aid to
foreign countries. The third "prize-winning" place in this spying race is
held by China, which is carrying out the modernization of its rapidly
growing economy. 

Russia is occupying the fourth place, and it is followed by Iran and Cuba,
which prefer to act against the American firms in the third countries.
According to CIA, the total damage of USA because of the economic espionage
makes up from 25 to 30 billion dollars annually. 

As per France which, according to the US mass media, is specially active
among NATO countries in the field of economic espionage, in this country
those activities are carried out on a wide basis. Not only the French
intelligence, but also private firms are engaged in that. The Association
of French commercial chambers has recently establish a department of
economic intelligence within its structure which is headed by Philip
Claire, the former leader of the General Secretariat of the national
defense of France. 

At the end of last year the Association of commercial chambers of France
organized the national network had been set up already in 1993 by the
Ministry of trade and industry of great Britain. At present, according to
the British newspaper "Intelligence Newsletter", it unites 240 English
companies. But the French business circles are intending to go in for a
deeper integration in this field and to include into the national network of
economic espionage not only the companies, but also trade associations,
universities which have common interests in the field of modern know-how
and commerce. 

Already in 1996, the Association of French commercial chambers signed an
agreement with the French Ministry of Defense, under which it will get
access to the information obtained in those countries where the French
peacekeeping forces are carrying out their operations in order to restore
law and order. Beside the African states which have been traditionally
playing the key role in proving the former mother country with cheap raw
materials and natural resources, this time they mean such countries as
Bosnia and Cambodia. 

The Committee on the issues of competitiveness and economic security of
France submitted its recommendations to the prime-minister about further
improvement of economic intelligence. It is supposed to form up "a leading
committee" to be headed by the President of the country. This Committee is
meant to supervise the activities of the national organization of economic
intelligence, within the framework of which there will be coordinated the
efforts of different services, both governmental and private ones. It is
noted, that only on the basis of the existence of a powerful system of
economic intelligence, France can maintain the competitiveness of its
industry on the international level, and in some areas to press out USA and
the other Western competitors. 

This initiative did not remain unnoticed by the overseas partners of Paris
in NATO. According to the US mass media, at present a project is being
considered to use the American peacekeeping forces to carry out similar
operations in the interests of the American companies. At the same time it
is believed that under the banner of the peacekeeper, USA will study the
situation on the foreign markets in order to work out practical
recommendations in relation to the best possible investments of the
American capitals into the post-war restoration of the economies in those
countries where the civil wars are going on. 

V. Starosadsky