27 March 2000. Thanks to DF.

Second British Spy Laptop Lost

A second spy lost a security services laptop after drinking too much and losing track of it. The £2,000 computer was reported last night to contain details of British secret agents working abroad.

It is an embarrassing sequel to the March 4 theft at Paddington that cost an MI5 officer his laptop and the secrets of the Ulster peace process that it contained.

In this case, the agent had spent the March 3 evening drinking at Rebato's tapas bar, about a mile from the MI6 headquarters beside the Thames at Vauxhall, London. He then lost track of it, but thought it might have been left in a taxi.

MI6's efforts to recover the laptop, using an anonymous newspaper advert, will further embarrass the Government. The advert placed by MI6 begged return of the laptop with 'vital research notes' to the 'academic' that lost it, in return for a reward. The computer was recovered on March 16.

MI6 chief Richard Dearlove has already given a full report to Foreign Secretary Robin Cook and Prime Minister Tony Blair.