Germany asks top American spy to leave the country

Updated 11 July 2014
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Germany asks top American spy to leave the country

BERLIN: Germany took the dramatic step Thursday of asking the top US intelligence official in Berlin to leave the country, following two reported cases of suspected US spying and the yearlong spat over eavesdropping by the National Security Agency.
The move reflects growing impatience in Germany at what is perceived as US nonchalance about being caught spying on a close ally.
“The representative of the US intelligence services at the United States Embassy has been asked to leave Germany,” government spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement.
“The request occurred against the backdrop of the ongoing investigation by federal prosecutors as well as the questions that were posed months ago about the activities of US intelligence agencies in Germany,” he said. “The government takes the matter very seriously.”
Seibert said Germany continues to seek “close and trusting” cooperation with its Western partners, “especially the United States.”
Shortly before the decision was announced, Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters that Germany and the United States had “very different approaches” to the role of intelligence agencies.
She stressed the need for greater trust between allies, a position she has repeatedly voiced since reports last year that the National Security Agency eavesdropped on her cellphone.
In separate cases over the past 10 days, one man has been arrested and an investigation against another has been launched on suspicion that they worked for foreign intelligence. German media have reported that the men are suspected of passing secrets to the US
Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said that the scope of the cases and who was involved are not yet clear, but that talks are taking place with the United States at various levels.
“If the situation remains what we know now, the information reaped by this suspected espionage is laughable,” de Maiziere said in a statement. “However, the political damage is already disproportionate and serious.”


India seizes one ton of ketamine on boat, arrests six Myanmar crew

Updated 22 September 2019

India seizes one ton of ketamine on boat, arrests six Myanmar crew

  • India’s coast guard seized $42 million worth of ketamine

NEW DELHI: India’s coast guard has arrested six Myanmar men and seized $42 million worth of ketamine after spotting a suspicious vessel in the Indian Ocean near the Nicobar Islands.
The 1,160-kilogram drug haul came after coast guard aircraft spotted the boat, which had its lights off, on Wednesday in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the defense ministry said in a statement.
The boat’s crew did not respond to radio calls and the coast guard eventually boarded it, with officials finding “57 gunny bundles of suspicious substance” on Friday.
“Preliminary analysis ... revealed that the suspicious substance was ketamine and there were 1,160 packets of 1kg each onboard the vessel,” the ministry added.
The six Myanmar men and cargo were taken to Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, where they were questioned by investigators.
They claimed they left Myanmar on September 14 and were due to rendezvous with another boat “operating near the Thailand-Malaysia maritime border line” on Saturday, the statement said.
The Nicobar Islands are located near Southeast Asia, off Myanmar’s coast.
Parts of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand are in the lawless “Golden Triangle” zone, the world’s second-largest drug-producing region after Latin America.
Large amounts drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine are churned out in remote jungle labs each year and smuggled across Asia and beyond.