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The Privatisation of Espionage

Extracts below relating to Shell and Hakluyt from a SPUTNIK article by : 27 Sept 2019 (SPUTNIK IS A RUSSIAN OWNED PUBLISHER)

In 1995, private intelligence agency Hakluyt & Company was established. Its ranks were filled with former members of British foreign intelligence agency MI6 – including Fitzroy Maclean, upon which Ian Fleming modelled James Bond – and also oil industry executives. William Purves, CEO of Shell Transport, was chair 2000 – 2008, Peter Holmes, former Shell chair served as the agency’s president, and Peter Cazalet, former BP deputy chair, helped set up Hakluyt before he retired in 2000.

Cazalet featured prominently in the first public expose of Hakluyt in 2001. The firm had hired Manfred Schlickenreider, a veteran infiltrator of environmental campaigns and protest groups, to spy on Greenpeace on behalf of its energy clients. Under the cover of his one-man film production company, Gruppe 2, Schlickenreider travelled the world with a video camera for 20 years on the pretext of making sympathetic documentaries about campaign groups. While some films were produced, all his footage and much more besides was secretly funnelled back to his employers, which included several German spying agencies.

It was while under contract to Hakluyt and ostensibly producing a documentary about campaigning efforts against Shell, Business as Usual: The Arrogance of Power, Schlickenreider’s cover was blown by Swiss action group Revolutionaire Aufbau. After becoming suspicious of Schlickenreider, they began investigating his activities, in the process uncovering a vast trove of incriminating documents – among other things, the files revealed he spied on and derailed Greenpeace’s ‘Atlantic Frontier’ campaign, which aimed to scuttle BP’s oil exploration in the Atlantic. The information he provided allowed the oil giant to prepare responses to protest actions well in advance, and prevent some from taking place.

The ensuing scandal catapulted Hakluyt to mainstream notoriety, and led several MPs to accuse MI6 of using the firm as a front for its own operations. Among them was Liberal Democrat Norman Baker – in 2011, he told Harvey he believed the agency’s operations were “semi-approved by the powers that be…to carry out activities the state wants to deny”.

The Peter Cazalet listed in Citizens=Network documents was also a director of a company called Global Currency Corporation Ltd, 2006 – 2010 – in the filing, he gave his date of birth as 5th Sept 1940, with an address in Gibraltar. While Hakluyt founder Peter Cazalet lives in London and was born in 1929, suggesting these are different people, Harvey notes Citizens=Network directors routinely lie about their dates of birth in company registration documents, with most using several – and if they are different people, it’s surely a supremely odd coincidence that both have been attached to filmmakers interested in documenting protest actions.

Moreover, the Peter Cazalet allegedly born in 1940 shares the same date of birth as another Citizens=Network director, Mike Rule, connected to baffling Citizens=Network initiative ‘The New Carnegie Foundation’, which pledges to prevent the “barbarism” of library closures the world over.

While the information presented here inevitably represents but a negligible fragment of a much wider – and potentially more sinister – clandestine picture, what’s clear is the activities of Citizens=Network stretch back decades, far longer than Hakluyt, with which the organisation appears so intimately intertwined, has been in operation.

In future reports, I’ll attempt to dig deeper not merely into the activities of Citizens=Network and Hakluyt, but the vast, well-remunerated array of shadowy companies in the wider sector.

FULL ARTICLE (Containing working links for the above screenshot)

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