Dec 01 2006

Litvinenko Story Turns From Assassination Towards Black Market

The Times UK is reporting that the authorities investigating the Litvinenko contamination incident are now (finally) looking towards the underworld and not just a political assassination hit:

Alexander Litvinenko may have been killed after a deal that went wrong with associates involved in the ruthless world of Russian business.

According to security sources, investigators are looking at the former spy’s dealings with Russian businessmen involved in the lucrative energy sector and the shadowy world of private security. “We are looking at a very long list of Mr Litvinenko’s friends and foes since he has been in London,” one source said.

The list includes exotic figures ranging from billionaire businessmen, former Kremlin spies and KGB agents to underworld bosses.

In the six years that he was in Britain, Litvinenko appeared to have acquired a formidable collection of friends and enemies. Although he described himself as a journalist, Litvinenko tried unsuccessfully to muscle in on several lucrative business deals with Russians.

This line of thinking brings the entire incident closer to what I felt was the crux of this situation all along – black market contraband. The assassination meme is just ridiculous. There are many easy ways to kill someone without risking exposure and getting caught smuggling Polonium-210 into the UK. And yes, that theory is still alive and well and being investigated:

Police will look at investigations that his friends say he claimed to be involved in at the time of his death, including smuggling rings for nuclear material and prostitutes.

And Berezvosky remains a central figure in this entire situation.

Although Mr Berezovsky was an ally of Litvinenko, there are also suggestions that the two men could have fallen out. On the day he died, Litvinenko visited the oligarch’s Mayfair offices, which have since been sealed because they contain traces of polonium-210.

And rightfully he should be under suspicion. I am wondering if the autopsy filing pushed the story the away from Putin and the Russian blackmarket/underground.

17 responses so far

17 Responses to “Litvinenko Story Turns From Assassination Towards Black Market”

  1. Lizarde1 says:

    AJ I am glad to see that the authorities are finally reading your blog. And again thanks for giving us all a place to hang out and discuss this.

  2. Lizarde1 says:

    You may have been right the first time:
    Another person at least according to the Independent may in fact be contaminated and that is why the Sussex hotel thing:
    Meanwhile, another person was believed to have been taken ill last night. Police were not releasing further details. Parts of the Ashdown Park Hotel in East Sussex was sealed off for radiation tests

  3. Lizarde1 says:

    On the other hand the guardian says this:
    Since his voluntary return to the UK last Monday, Mr Scaramella, 36, has been under the protection of Scotland Yard and has been having a debriefing at Ashford Park Hotel near Forest Row, East Sussex, part of which was sealed off last night.

  4. Lizarde1 says:

    and finally – there’s this – I had no idea he had first been in the US: the FBI was brought in remember…..though I still don’t think this is connected.
    Mr Gaidar visited Poland and the US shortly before flying to Ireland from Moscow to discuss his latest book at a conference last Friday. He spent the night at James Connolly Memorial Hospital in Dublin then returned to Moscow for further treatment.,,13509-2482916,00.html

  5. crosspatch says:

    That last paragraph of The Independent story is worrysome if another person has indeed become ill from polonium exposure.

  6. mrmeangenes says:

    I’ve been posting stories on this one too, and was directed to your blog by a reader. A few comments:

    1. The “deathbed declaration” sounds like pure hokum. People who are being kept alive by a ventilator rarely say anything.
    2. The media keeps referring to “polonium contamination” – when they should (probably) be referring to “an unknown radioactive substance”.
    3. The smuggling hypothesis sounds like a look in the right direction.

  7. jerry says:

    I have also become more interested in this angle, hadn’t previously considered it, kudos to AJ for being so precient.

  8. clarice says:

    When a Putin ally, instead of a Putin enemy, is mysteriously killed, I’ll reconsider my assassination theory. ;^)

  9. jerry says:

    Well that’s a good point. Just saying AJs angle is new and interesting, I’d say it’s an assassination… we just need more details.

  10. clarice says:

    We could have a killing contest–How would you do it?
    In a cigarette
    In contact lens solution
    In an injection (Give the mark something that is not fatal but requires hospital treatment. Once he’s in the hospital, inject him with the poison)

    In a dental filling
    In shaving cream/after shave lotion
    In some aerosol spray
    In mouthwash

  11. jerry says:

    Oh, I’d contract a government nuclear scientist to make me up some of the most dangerous substance known to man, then some buddies and I would dance through customs to a big city airport in a foreign country, bring it to a fancy hotel there and drop it on the floor just to see if it’s safe and check our nerves, we’d ask our friend the target over to discuss important business and give him tea with enough alpha particles buzzing about in it to power our hotel for a few minutes, after everyone’s had a nice big city lunch we’d meet up again before going to see a symbolic soccer battle between our two countries, then back to the old country after another fun weekend (almost as good as that time in Kiev).

  12. clarice says:

    HEH! Please call us. Your friends at FSB

  13. crosspatch says:

    IF this was an assasination:

    1. They would have had to know that polonium would have been detected. Symptoms would have led to eventual diagnosis of radiation sickness, tests would have shown alpha emission, analysis would have discovered polonium. This means that if it was assasination, then:

    2. The assasin(s) didn’t care if the method were discovered. If it was discovered, the potential exists for the origin to be discovered. This means:

    3. They didn’t care if the origin of the material were discovered either.

    So if they knew that it was likely that the source of the poison would be discovered, they must not care because either they can’t be connected to that source and aren’t concerned with exposing it, or they themselves don’t plan on being around long enough for it to matter.

  14. Snapple says:


    The link at the beginning of this article is bad.

  15. Barbara says:

    New theory. Lugozov brought polonium to UK from Russia. Lugozov dropped the polonium in his hotel room and broke the seal unknowingly and spilled the large amount found. He got it on his hand when he picked it up and that is how it got on the light switch. He then met with Litvinenko and gave him the polonium. Then
    Livenko met Zaparev in his car and passed the polonium on to him for the Chechen terrorists but his hands and clothing had absorbed enough polonium to kill him. He then went to Berezovsky’s office to tell him mission accomplished and picked up the tickets Lugozov had requested and contaminated Berezovsky’s office. He had a little time to kill before meeting Scaramella at the sushi bar so he read the newspaper he had bought at noon and licked his fingers as he turned the pages therby poisoning himself. When he met Scaralmella at the sushi bar they shook hands or hugged as Europeans do and contaminated Scaramella. He then met Lugozov at the hotel again to deliver the soccer tickets and left traces in the bar and bathroom. I would be surprised if these three Russians and Luozov’s son did not test positive for contamination. He spent twenty minutes with them after all and must have shaken hands after all he didn’t know one of them. He met other contacts at two locations at Grosvenor Square as reported. Went home, changed clothes and was driven to the hospital by Bereszovsky probably the only man he trusted if people in these circles could be said to trust each other. This ties in all the ends and explains the contamination of all offices. Just another theory in my on going career as a mystery writer.

  16. Carol_Herman says:

    Drudge is reorting that 4 Greek men are testing positive, as well.

    Which would extend the reach of the blackmarketeering charges.

    And, again, hardly likely has anything to do with Putin. But you know what? By dragging Putin in, as if this would work at hurting Putin; only OPENED THE CASE WIDE OPEN! To say nothing of the fact that while on his recent foreign tour, Putin & Bush had met. And, were making headlines together.

    In the kid’s game Clue. You pick the person. The weapon. And, the room. Not Putin! But the dropped bottle? Why not? Sounds like it could happen. And, then? No one would have to know, if the “Z” guy thought he had “everything cleaned up.”

    And, with his dying breath, Litveneko will be caught out as the biggest LIAR! What an interesting story this is.

  17. tempester says:

    Lugovoi must have been framed – why would someone who is reported to have a £100 million fortune, risk his life and liberty by taking a radioactive substance along with his wife and kids to london to poison someone. You wouldnt do it you would get some other mug to do it!!