Files with sensitive data on police
informants have been stolen during a burglary from the car of an
official at the Bureau for Criminal Investigation for the northern
German state of Lower Saxony.
The files, stolen at the beginning of May, allow conclusions to be drawn about the official's work and how he obtained his information. The information emerged from a report by the Interior Ministry made available to dpa.
The bureau initially did not comment on the incident. Lower Saxony's Interior Minister Boris Pistorius said he would explain further details in a confidential meeting of the Committee on Internal Affairs on Friday morning and then inform the public.
"But no files have been lost, everything is there," Pistorius told dpa. According to the report of the Interior Ministry, the official from whose private car the briefcase was stolen works at the Department of Operational Intelligence and runs informants from there. The documents contained sensitive information and data, the report said.
The search for the files was initially unsuccessful. Three days after the theft, an angler found the briefcase in a pond south of the state capital Hanover. While personal items such as cash and a debit card belonging to the official were missing, the "obviously" unread documents were still in the bag.
It could not yet be determined how much damage had been done to the bureau's operations, the report said. After the accidental unveiling of an informant at the Lower Saxony intelligence agency last year, this is the second known scandal within a year in which security agencies have risked the exposure of informants, Green lawmaker Julia Willie Hamburg said.
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