Government contract for two VIP jets carries risk of espionage, say security services
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    Government contract for two VIP jets carries risk of espionage, say security services

    The Falcon 7X executive jet by Dassault © Dassault

    A leasing contract signed by the federal ministry of defence for two executive jets carries a high risk of being used for espionage, according to sources in the state security service quoted by De Morgen.

    The planes are intended to be used by senior government officials and members of the royal family, and will also be rented out to members of the EU Commission, the heads of other EU institutions in Brussels and the secretary-general of Nato.

    However the security services have warned that the planes could be used by foreign intelligence services to record conversations on board the planes. The risk of infiltration is made more serious by the fact that the contract between the defence ministry and leasing company Abelag, based in Zaventem, covers not only the leasing of the two Dassault Falcon 7X planes, but also their maintenance.

    The risk that recordings could be made on board the planes is gigantic,” one source told the paper. Regular maintenance by outside workers leaves the field wide open for hostile services such as Russian or Chinese intelligence to secrete recording devices.

    And the papers report that the Belgian military intelligence service SGRS did not have the opportunity to evaluate the risks of the contract before it was signed. According to the defence ministry, that precaution was not necessary. “The evaluation began after the contract was agreed,” a spokesperson said. “It is going on now.”

    Alan Hope
    The Brussels Times