New book claims Russians bugged Clarkson’s boardroom

A new book published this month claims that Russians bugged the boardroom of the world’s largest shipbroker.

The controversial claims are made in Client Confidential: Spooks, Secrets and Counter-Espionage in Celtic-Tiger Ireland, penned by former soldier turned security consultant Sean Hartnett, published by Merrion Press.

Hartnett details a meeting in 2007 with the then CFO of Clarkson in which the broking executive voiced his concern that their offices might have been bugged as the Russians, who they were in a long running court case with in London, always seemed to be one step ahead of them every day in court.

Twelve years ago Clarkson was sued for $54m by two Russian shipping lines, Sovcomflot and Novoship, over commissions paid to third parties in a three-year period from 2001 to 2004. The legal case at the High Court in London would go on to be one of the most protracted in shipping history.

The book details how after a couple of sweeps through the Clarkson offices in London, a pinhole listening device was found in one of the paintings in the broker’s boardroom.

Clarkson officials have yet to reply to enquiries made by Splash.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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