By H. Carter

PALMA
THE U.S embassy cables released by WikiLeaks have revealed that the whistle blowing Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko who was fatally poisoned with radiocative polonium in London in 2006, tipped the Spanish authorities off about Russian Mafia operations in Spain and the Balearics in 2006.

According to reports in the Guardian and El Pais, information provided by the spy who died in London, led to two major anti-Mafia operations being carried out in Spain code named Avispa (2005-07) and Troika (2008-09) which resulted in the arrest of more than 60 suspects.

They include four of the alleged leaders outside Russia: Gennady Petrov, who was arrested at a luxury property here in Sol de Mallorca, Calvia and is now out on bail, Alexander Malyshev (Petrov's deputy), Vitaly Izguilov (a key lieutenant) and Kalashov.

As the latest WikiLeaks have revealed by publishing US embassy cables, Kremlin's spy agencies have such a close relationship with top organised criminals that Russia has become a “virtual ‘mafia state',” the cables say. The gangsters enjoy secret support and protection and in effect work “as a complement to state structures”.

According to the two newspapers, Litvinenko secretly met Spanish security officers in May 2006, six months before his death, the cable reported. Another cable, quoting an investigation by Spain's flagship centre-left daily newspaper El País, said Litvinenko tipped off Spanish security officials on the “locations, roles, and activities of several ‘Russian' mafia figures with ties to Spain”.

According to Litvinenko, Russia's intelligence and security services control the country's organised crime network - with Gonzalez citing the federal security service (FSB), foreign intelligence service (SVR) and military intelligence (GRU).” José “Pepe” Grinda Gonzalez, Spain's national court prosecutor stated at the time he believes this thesis (by Litvinenko) to be accurate,” the cable said.

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