Dec 07 2006

Millenium Hotel Now The Poison Site, Smuggling Theory Expands

First off, another one of my predictions I made which I said would come true if this was a smuggling effort came true. I predicted back on December 5th that if this was a smuggling effort we would find Polonium traces at hotels that lined up with the trips of Lugovoi on Oct 15th, Oct 25th and Nov 1st because these were trips where Litvinenko met Lugovoi (as if to check on the status of some effort). That has now come true:

Traces of polonium-210 has been found at Parkes Hotel, Mayfair, it was confirmed last night. It means that radiation has been found at all three hotels where Mr Lugovoy had stayed since flying to London on October 16. The Parkes was the first he stayed at.

The radioactive isotope has also been found at Risc Management, a security firm in Cavendish Place, visited by Litvinenko with Mr Lugovoy and Mr Kovtun on October 17.

Back on December 1st I said if this was a smuggling ring that was exposed by an accident one of the Russians with Lugovoi (who would be coordinating the smuggling, not handling the material himself) would fall ill. Obviously that happened today as well. I am now ready to be proven wrong, if it all possible. If there were three rounds of Polonium 210 shipments, and Litvinenko was only poisoned as one of these shipments came through, how much Polonium is still out there?

The UK media are chasing their conspiracy spinning tails on the Litvinenko incident, but finally they may be seeing the light. As I proposed here, and in numerous other posts, I think the second major contamination site at the Millenium Hotel at Grosvenor’s Square is where the poisining of Litvinenko took place. I think there is a case to be made that Litvinenko met twice with Lugovoi and Kovtun (two Russian “business associates” of Litvinenko and Berezovsky): once in the morning or mid-day before the Scaramella meeting, and then again after the meeting in the early evening. Reporting keeps getting conflicting inputs because the idea of two meetings in one day has not been widely contemplated. In any event, the Times UK is now moving the site of the major poisoning event to the Millenium Hotel:

All seven bar staff working at the Pine Bar in the Millennium Hotel that night have tested positive for polonium-210, the radioactive isotope that killed Litvinenko. Health authorities are trying urgently to contact the 250 customers using the busy bar on November 1.

The Pine Bar is a popular haunt for businessmen and foreign guests at the five-star hotel in Grosvenor Square. Many of those overseas travellers have returned home after being told they were at no risk.

Health experts said they were surprised to find that the levels of radiation found in the seven bar staff approached that found in Litvinenko’s wife, Marina.

As I mentioned in this previous post the contamination level can be used to derive how close the person was to ground zero event (when the major contamination happened that poisoned Litvinenko). Litvinenko was at ground zero (obviously) and the closest one since had the highest dose (he fell ill first and died first). The second closest to ground zero may be Kuvton, who seems to have fallen ill and could be on his way to dying. The third known contamination is Scaramella – who is a second tier vector having been contaminated by Litvinenko at his Sushi Bar meeting. No other restaurant staff were contaminated at that location. The next closest contaminated people are the 7 staff members at the Millenium Pine Bar and Litvinenko’s wife. They seem to be like Scaramella in that they ran into a prime vector (Litvinenko or Kovtun) who was at ground zero, but far enough away in time that whatever contamination was on the vector had dissipated by some means or another so that they received less of a dose than Scaramella.

As distance, or time, or some other intervening vector creates distance from ground zero and the two prime vectors we know of (Litvinenko and Kovtun) the risk to people drops off. What is not clear is whether there are any more prime vectors who were at ground zero. Was Lugovoi? We should know soon because they should be getting ill pretty soon.

But someone is really stringing the media along here:

Michael Clark, of the agency’s radiation protection division, said last night that it was possible that Litvinenko was poisoned by a contaminated cigarette or drink.

A minute quantity of polonium-210 placed in Litvinenko’s glass would explain how he ingested the radioactive poison that led to his agonising death three weeks later.

The vapour that evaporated from the drink would have been inhaled by anyone in the area, with a greater concentration for his Russian companions and staff, who would have been in the bar much longer.

Litvinenko did not have a minute quantity of Polonium-210 by toxic standards. He ingested 50-100 times the lethal dose, which represented 30 million euros worth of Polonium-210 (at its peak purity – assuming minimal decay time since production). The ‘vapors’ do not explain how Scaramella received 5 times the lethal dose, and it number three on our dose chart (Kovtun looks to be number two and I would guess that if he is truly as ill as people say he could be at 10-20 times the lethal dose). The other problem we have is there could have been a build up over many exposures in Litvinenko or Kovtun over the three week period in questions. It is possibly the cumulative dose is the result of a number of smaller exposures. But this theory being put out to the UK Times seems a very strained. My theory holds up better, which entails an early meeting in a hotel room which is the true ground zero:

Investigators believe the poison cocktail was likely to have been manufactured in a guest room at the hotel, a short walk away from the US Embassy. Significant traces of polonium-210 were found in a fourth-floor room, which was occupied by a visiting Russian.Police believe that the killer may have stalked Litvinenko in London that day and had first tried to poison the ex-KGB colonel in a sushi bar. That failed but the poisoner left ample traces of the deadly radioactive isotope in the Piccadilly restaurant. Traces were also found on an Italian academic, Mario Scaramella, who was in the Itsu sushi bar. Toxicologists found polonium-210 in every place that Litvinenko visited after his drink at the hotel. It was not until he arrived home two hours later that he was violently ill.

This theory is pretty lame (except the fact there was ‘a spill’ of what must have been a Polonium-210 acid suspension in the hotel room) because it proposes the assassin had no clear opportunities to get Litvinenko in an open area like a street, or had to trail him and get the job done that one day. The amount of Polonium available was enough to kill Litvinenko 50-100 times over. An assassin could have trailed at his liesure, leaving a drop in a drink while passing by and slowly building up the toxicity of the Polonium-210 in Litvinenko. If an assassin selected Polonium-210 it is assumed they took the time to study how it could be administered covertly.

Update: Larisa Alexandrovna has posted something she says will make me very happy – so I thought I would share it with everyone.

96 responses so far

96 Responses to “Millenium Hotel Now The Poison Site, Smuggling Theory Expands”

  1. crosspatch says:

    People do really stupid stuff. There was a jewler once who decided to do some electoplating at home in his garage and gave himself a big enough dose of cyanide to kill him, and he knew better.

    There were those people who found a radioactive material and smeared it all over themselves because they thought the way it glowed in the dark was cool, many of them died.

    Your smoke detector contains a radioactive alpha source. Probably contains americium 241. Someone might be tempted to traffic in that considering it’s “harmless” as long as you don’t eat it.

    Polonium is quite harmless as long as you don’t get it IN you. But that’s the problem. Most people don’t think to have a glove box and fume hood in a hotel.

    But these people got a good quantity inside them so they must have been handling it.

  2. Lizarde1 says:

    This isn’t pretty: from the Telegraph
    All the staff working at the Pine Bar in the Millennium Hotel in Grosvenor Square on Nov 1 have tested positive for polonium 210.

    Some are suffering flu-like symptoms, one of their colleagues said last night. The member of staff, who asked not to be named, said: “Four of my colleagues are among those affected. They have been ill for days – they have red eyes, they’re sick, it’s like flu. They have been sent home but I have spoken to them and they are worried.”

  3. Enlightened says:

    20 suitcases of money? Come on.

    Prior to this incident, there was not a street market attraction to PO210 – The logistics of transporting it are not worth dying for by seller or buyer. And it would have been a red flag issue the IAEA and other nuclear proliferation agencies would have been more interested in than commenting that PO210 is not really that big a deal as far as terrorism goes.

    It is common knowledge that Russia has very poorly secured nuclear waste dumps and plants. Someone could have grabbed the first thing on the shelf – PO210, not knowing a damn thing about it – just that it would cause a very sudden and painful death to the exposed.

    If it was a sophisticated smuggling ring( it would have to be if it was shopping around a 50 Million $ product) they would have complete knowledge of their product, the handling required, how to avoid detection – everything.

    These saps knew NOTHING about it, and walked around town irradiated and dying. Not a good thing for a smuggler that just paid 50 Mil for the goods.

    It is much more logical to assume a known user of poison for assassinations has a tablet stored on shelf 50, in reactor CCCP100, the janitor lets in the thief, who turned it over to Viktor the assassin in a protected isotope flask who boards a plane to the UK to drop a tab in Sasha’s tea, or sprinkle on his dinner.

    No big dollars, no tracer of the lost flask (which go missing routinely)no tracer to the assassin – and Sasha is now dying, and coughing all over his pals who are getting their dosage. End of one of the Kremlin’s biggest critics and a beloved UK emigre’.

    I think I’ll just wait this one out. That is if the truth ever really comes out.

  4. MerlinOS2 says:


    If you have ever seen PO 210 handled and packaged for shipment in a government lab you would know this is something you don’t do on the fly anywhere. Even in nanocurie quanties it is handled in full containment glove boxes. When you are dealing with years ago shipments for trigger recharge you were talking about containers withing containers which were welded shut and then put inside other containers with voids filled with inert gases to not allow diffusion.

    Definitely not something you are going to be able to hide in your carry on luggage.

    The only way you would transport it otherwise in a smuggling operation is you consider all mules expendable and don’t care if an oops creates an international incident.

  5. crosspatch says:

    By the way, americium 241 could be used just as easily with beryllium to make neutron emitters and it is more available and has a longer half-life (over 200 years).

    But this is very, very interesting:

    In August of 2004, when the British arrested 13 people under the Terrorism Act, a number of smoke detectors were found among the materials the suspects had accumulated. While the relatively small amounts of americium used in the average smoke detector meats that the terrorists would have had to accumulate a huge number of detectors to acquire sufficient radioactive material to actually cause injury, the feeling seems to have been that simply having something that would cause radiation detectors to respond might have been enough to accomplish the terrorists’ goal of seeding fear (the charges against eight of the suspects included “Conspiracy to commit a public nuisance by the use of radioactive materials, toxic gases, chemicals, and/or explosives.”).

  6. crosspatch says:

    Yes, MerlinOS2, that is true. But chances are good none of these people had the slightest training in these materials.

  7. Lizarde1 says:

    plus if you just read the papers the stuff could be shielded by a crummy piece of paper so your average idiot thinks it’s safe unless they have it for lunch – maybe they did wear gloves in case of a tiny open wound – apparantly they didn’t think about the flying around potential of the stuff and further if you read the incident reports from the 50’s there were two accidents in Britain with it and one a nail biter had quantities in his urine and survived and another inhaled a big puff of it in a spill and also survived. Maybe they read these studies!

  8. crosspatch says:

    Might want to google around concerning the trial of one Dhiren Barot. There’s some interesting stuff there. Some stuff apparently so scary that the UK has classified much of the material in the trial.

  9. clarice says:

    *******A question that hung over the funeral was whether Mr. Litvinenko had made a deathbed conversion to Islam. “This will be one of the big mysteries. His Islamic friends said he did convert,” Mr. Goldfarb said. “He was heavily sedated at the time, but if there are people who believe he converted, let them believe it.”***

    If the Sky News report is true, and Kovtun is not in a coma, why the cite from the Russian Prosecutor that they were investigating this as a murder?

  10. MerlinOS2 says:

    The nubs may not but those originating the material and the receivers usually have a clue.

    Nobody wants their smuggle ops compromised on high dollar stuff with non briefed people in between.

    If they are using containers that can partially contaminate a plane, then where is the short jump to a whole plane load of passenger dying a horrible death which gathers all sorts of unwanted PR to your efforts.

    If you want the product for a reason you want it to get to you and the higher dollar the product the more you don’t want statistical looses due to exposure along the way or even exposure that you are collection some bad stuff to start with.

    Uless you believe all killed by poor transport are infidels that are good substitutes as any for targeted infidels.

  11. crosspatch says:

    “Nobody wants their smuggle ops compromised on high dollar stuff with non briefed people in between.”

    I don’t think most of them care. Someone makes it known they have polonium for sale …. you go searching for a buyer, then deliver the goods.

    But if he was buying the stuff for local jihadis, they would even care less.

  12. clarice says:

    Given it’s nature–a short shelf life–I expect you get the buyer ahead of time.

  13. clarice says:


  14. Lizarde1 says:

    I still think Litvinenko had the stuff at home – the level of contamination of the people at the restaurant is almost as high as the people in his family – so the people in his family have had more exposure than the people in the bar where all 7 workers got contaminated – if there was the BIG spill in the restaurant why don’t the workers have more contamination than the people in the family?

  15. jerry says:

    Here’s something about the sushi place, and sushi girl. Sasha ordered his food and went to the loo at one point. What does Scaramella know?!,,2-2006550699,00.html

  16. jerry says:

    A big spill hasn’t been reported anywhere, that’s why I’d say most all the radioactivity was contained within Sasha… excepting the stuff he breathed on people once he’d been dosed (which I’d say was in tea at the Millenium prior to the sushi bar). Maybe he was less formal with Kovtun than Scaramella – less distance between them.

  17. Lizarde1 says:

    poor Sasha:????? per the Sushi girl
    “We noticed him because he was so expensively dressed. Everything was Armani or some other designer.

    “He always had wads of cash in his wallet and seemed very wealthy.

  18. Enlightened says:

    If this was a sophisticated smuggling ring, handling huge sums of money for a minute amout of product – I guess the big players are pretty damn pissed off right about now:

    A) Their ring is now open to intense scrutiny – they apparently have been operating under the radar prior to this – since no one was on to them – except the Russians maybe.

    B) All those big $$$$ shipments – down the crapper. No one is going to touch this stuff for any amount of money after this fiasco

    C) Pride – boy howdy they must feel like morons – at least thats how they look in the publics eyes – a bunch of bumbling morons handling a hot shipment like it was a sugar packet poured into a tea cup.

    Guess they will have to move on to a new radioactive product to smuggle.

    Of course, the Russians will just dummy up and go about ther merry little way – no harm, no foul.

  19. AJStrata says:


    big spills have been found in the Millenium Hotel Room and the Sheraton (five rooms contaminated). You are not comprehending how much Polonium we are discussing here.


  20. Weight of Glory says:


    “If it was a sophisticated smuggling ring( it would have to be if it was shopping around a 50 Million $ product) they would have complete knowledge of their product, the handling required, how to avoid detection – everything. “….. so would the sophisticated assassin.

    “These saps knew NOTHING about it, and walked around town irradiated and dying. Not a good thing for a smuggler that just paid 50 Mil for the goods.”…..nor is it good for the assassin who wishes to get away with it.

    In your mind it is impossible for a smuggling ring to be so stupid and clumsy with its goods. For me, it is impossible for an assassin to be so stupid and clumsy with his “art.”