Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) is searching for the people who leaked information on Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, Britain’s prime suspects in Skripal poisoning case. The leaked information included Petrov and Boshirov’s passport application forms, as well as Russian border crossing information from the Rospasport and migration systems, Rosbalt reports, citing a source familiar with the situation.
According to Rosbalt’s source, FSB operatives are looking for Interior Ministry employees who may have sold or given journalists or other entities the forms and other documents pertaining to Petrov and Boshirov. “Information containing personal data should not be in free circulation. There have already been serious incidents where such ‘holes’ have been used by criminals, and by western intelligence agencies, including Ukraine’s. It’s enough to remember the Myrotvorets list, which contains personal data on people,” the news agency’s source explained, adding that serious measures would be taken against the people responsible for the leak.
It has already been established that the information was leaked from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. One source claims that the staff member who leaked the forms may have simply processed an order, without knowing whose data he was selling.
The FSB’s operations have affected the black market for confidential information on citizens. Rosbalt notes that it is no longer possible to buy data from the Federal Migration Service (FMS) database or the systems which record crossings of the Russian border.
On September 14, Bellingcat published the results of a joint investigation with The Insider on the Salisbury incident, which included copies of Petrov and Boshirov’s documents. One of the images showed Petrov’s passport information from the FMS database, with a stamp stating “Do not provide any information”, and the abbreviation “S.S.” which in Russian can stand for “top secret”, indicating that Petrov is an intelligence agent.
One day after the publication, Petrov and Boshirov gave an interview to Margarit Simonyan, chief editor of the Kremlin-back TV station RT. In the interview, the Russians claimed not to be involved in the Salisbury incident, and that they have no idea where the Skripals’ house is. They claim to have traveled to the city as tourists to visit the Catholic cathedral and other attractions in the city. London dismissed the interview as “lies” and confirmed that Petrov and Boshirov remain the chief suspects in the Salisbury poisoning case.