Monday, March 23, 2015

Secret nuclear submarine documents stolen from neighbor, court hears

Marcin Kostrzewa allegedly took documents from next door neighbor’s airing cupboard and attempted to sell them for £50,000 to Polish embassy

HM Naval Base Devonport
Marcin Kostrzewa, 31, was accused of stealing documents from a neighbor who worked as an engineer at the naval base in Devonport, Plymouth. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

A man stole restricted documents about British nuclear submarines and attempted to sell them to an eastern European government for £50,000, a court has heard.
Using stolen keys, Marcin Kostrzewa, 31, broke into the flat of his next door neighbor, who worked as an engineer on submarines, and took the documents, the jury was told.
Kostrzewa, a Polish national, searched the internet using terms including “spies” and “secret documents” and contacted the Polish embassy to try to sell the information, but was caught in a sting operation, it was claimed.
Alexander Chalk, prosecuting, told the jury at Plymouth crown court that Kostrzewa had committed a “slightly unusual burglary”.
He said Kostrzewa broke into Shane Spencer’s flat between January and April 2014 and stole “sensitive or secret material”, which was stored in the engineer’s airing cupboard.
The jury heard that Spencer was working as an engineer at the naval base in Devonport, Plymouth, and from time to time took home documents to work on.
Once he had the documents, Kostrzewa contacted the Polish embassy to try to sell them but he was trapped by an operation involving the British security services and the Metropolitan police.
On 10 April last year a secret services agent called “Alex” met Kostrzewa in a hotel room rigged with hidden recording devices, the jury heard.
The Polish man said he had found a key to access Spencer’s flat, stole the papers and also planned to copy Spencer’s hard drive. He wanted £50,000 for the information and told the agent: “This is only the beginning.”
As he left the room he was arrested by police. Kostrzewa denies burglary. The trial continues.

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