Espionage gang sold tank project to foreign services

Espionage gang sold tank project to foreign services
Espionage gang sold tank project to foreign services

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Today's Zaman
13 November 2010

Investigators conducting a probe into a gang within the naval forces -- 
which established a prostitution ring to extract vital state security 
information from high-ranking officers and senior bureaucrats through 
blackmail to sell to foreign intelligence services -- have found that 
vital information on a large number of crucial security projects, 
including the "National Tank" project developed for the military, have 
been sold to foreign intelligence services.
Members of the gang, who met with their contacts at Internet cafes, used 
SIM cards instead of larger memory sticks or other data storage devices 
to avoid getting caught, the investigation has revealed. Investigators 
now know that the gang concentrated on officers holding critical 
positions in the Naval Forces Command and the Scientific and 
Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) -- two institutions 
that have developed military projects particularly to fight the 
terrorist Kurdistan Workers=E2=80=99 Party (PKK).

The gang would ensnare the officers and experts in these organizations 
by setting them up with prostitutes and recording images from these 
meetings for blackmail purposes. The recruits -- forced into the gang 
through blackmail -- would use tiny SIM cards and chips to get the 
information on projects that have been developed by Turkish engineers 
over many years in these institutions.

The investigators also found that the gang members and their contacts 
always met in crowded areas, such as Internet caf=C3=A9s. Police 
investigators have been able to identify the members of the crime 
network and its couriers, despite their adeptness at and frequency of 
changing places of residence. Highly critical state security projects 
have so far been seized during the police raids staged throughout the 
course of the investigation being conducted by the =C4=B0stanbul Chief Public 
Prosecutor=E2=80=99s Office. One such document includes projects to improve 
communications within the military, reportedly stolen from the 
undersecretary of defense. The gang also stole details of the top-secret 
National Tank Project developed by ASELSAN engineer Huseyin Basbalen and 
completed in 2007.


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