17 December 1995: Illegal Arms Supply to India
The Purilia Arms Drop was an illegal transfer of arms to an unknown group in West Bengal, India. Central characters in the deal included Peter Haestrup.
He surfaced again in 2013 when, together with Tory, Richard Cook and the late, 83yo, Prince Nawwaf bin Abdul Aziz, former head of the Saudi Arabian intelligence agency, he co-founded another company called Five Star Investment Management Ltd.
The company was registered at Cook’s Glasgow address. The firm filed no accounts with Companies House, and was dissolved in December 2014.
This explanation of events is complicated by many intrigues but the article need to be read in its entirety to be sure of a clear understanding of recent actions and activities of Richard Cook, former vice chairman of the Conservative Party in Scotland.
David Shayler MI5
The Purilia Arms Drop Part 1:
The Purilia Arms Drop Part 2:
The Purilia Arms Drop Part 3:
16 Mar 2015: Danish documentary and Indian Television revisits the unsolved mystery of the 1995 Purulia arms drop
In December 1995, a consignment of 2,500 AK-47 guns was dropped from the sky on a district in West Bengal. Who was it meant for?
Two decades later, the basic facts of the Purulia arms drop still beggar belief.
On December 17, 1995, a Russian plane with a Latvian crew and passengers that included a British arms dealer and a Danish smuggler flew over West Bengal, dropped 2,500 AK-47 weapons and 1,500,000 rounds of ammunition over five villages in the Purulia district and took off for Thailand.
The five Latvians and the Briton were arrested when they landed back in India and spent many years in an Indian prison.
The Dane evaded arrest and disappeared, resurfaced in Denmark and eventually defeated Indian attempts to extradite him.
Meanwhile, it is still not clear whether the arms were meant for the Ananda Marga religious cult, as is the popular theory, or whether they were actually supposed to be routed to Kachin rebels in neighbouring Myanmar.
Since then, reams of newsprint have been expended trying to solve the riddle, as have a handful of television documentaries.
The two key characters plead their innocence — Bleach because he alerted British intelligence about the arms deal before it happened and spilled the beans to Indian agencies as soon as he was caught.
Holck because he claims that he is a victim of a high-level conspiracy in which the Indian government sought to overthrow the ruling Left Front in West Bengal at the time.
David Shayler MI5
Approval, Coordination and Execution of the Arms Drop Operation.
Holck and Bleach claimed to be mere cogs in a joint operation between the Indian Research & Analysis Wing (RAW), the British MI5 and the CIA which was approved by the ruling Congress Party to unseat the West Bengal government by arming the Ananda Margis.
Bleach and Holck
Holck – International Man of Mystery
Perhaps the biggest enigma to linger after The Arms Drop has faded from memory is Neils Holck himself.
his criminal past, his involvement with gold smuggling, his links with the cult, his multiple identities (he has used at least 36 aliases and 15 passports over a ten-year period), and his baffling rescue by the Danish government and largely unexplored connections with the United States of America and the Central Intelligence Agency.
In support of the foregoing is his four visits to the USA, made before the arms drop despite being on Interpol’s radar and that he was wanted there for two federal crimes.
His links with the CIA ensured the protection the Danish authorities provided.
And the Pakistani company that serviced the AN-26 in Karachi airport is also said to have links with a CIA front aviation company.
At the end of an “immensely vexing, extraordinarily complex and tangled” story, it is felt that the Narendra Modi government must revive the case and pursue every available means to bring Holck to justice in India, and hunt down the Ananda Marg monks wanted in the case but who are still on the run.
Holck’s self-regard and survival skills are on ample display in The Arms Drop.
He painted a picture of himself as a victim of Indian intransigence and insisted that he is just a misguided revolutionary who was troubled by the West Bengal government’s crackdown on the Ananda Marga.
He managed to escape from all the bad things he has done in his life, and he is slippery, but this is not a black and white case.
Bleach and Holck
Bleach Sacrificed by MI5?
It is not difficult to feel sympathy for Bleach, who faced a death sentence in India before finally being freed by the British government’s intervention in 2004, and who suffered from tuberculosis in prison.
The Latvians were freed in 2000 on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s insistence.
Bleach claimed that he was not a British double agent, as had been alleged, and that he still hasn’t understood why his MI5 minder (David Shayler), (Detective Sergeant Stephen Elcock) and The Senior police officer concerned, J. K. Dutt, Joint Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) washed their hands of him in court. “You know you are in trouble when there are at least two governments trying to keep you in jail,” he wryly quoted in an interview.
A video investigation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjNTcEDsXXY The truth about Purulia-1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pOmnwzrDR0 The truth about Purulia-2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpKtOU3_6-E The truth about Purulia-3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePbMDm4SX9Y The truth about Purulia-4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0e_bTy8-8A The truth about Purulia-5
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwgtbCsyXbc The truth about Purulia-6
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Crcznwwhpj4 The truth about Purulia-7
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRpU5OSpVXU Purulia case: ‘Declassify secret documents’
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcCixkeazkw Whose version do we believe?
Summary and Look Forward
A complex mission, involving the CIA, MI5, CBI and goodness knows how many other secret service agencies, required for success the efficient coordination of an operational team drawn from a number of nations was always vulnerable to error and failure.
Leaving Bleach at the mercy of an Indian Judge was a reprehensible act by MI5. See below
09 May, 1999 MI5 accused of link to Indian weapons plot
The security service MI5 has been linked to a gunrunning plot to destabilise the Indian government.
The trial of a British arms dealer in a Calcutta court has thrown up evidence that the service knew of a plan to airdrop weapons including rifles, rocket launchers, anti-tank grenades and ammunition to Hindu terrorists.
There is also evidence that the British authorities tried to cover up MI5’s involvement by blanking out parts of documents submitted to the court.
In an unprecedented move, an Indian judge last week summoned a Special Branch officer to travel to Calcutta to explain discrepancies in evidence presented by the Home Office.
The strange case began when Peter Bleach, a 48-year-old former soldier and ex-public schoolboy, was arrested after stepping off a cargo plane in Bombay in December 1995.
He was accused by Indian police of masterminding a bungled operation to airlift £312,000 of weapons to the Ananda Marga cult.
The group was locked in conflict with the communist government in West Bengal.
Since January 8, 1996, Bleach has been confined to a solitary cell in Presidency jail, Calcutta, accused under the Arms Act, the Explosives Act and of involvement in a criminal conspiracy against the state.
He faces execution by hanging if he is found guilty.
The mainstay of his defence, which he is conducting himself, is that he was an informant for British intelligence, which was involved from the outset in the plot.
He said he believed that the information passed on by him would be used to warn the Indian authorities.
He said none of the weapons reached its destination because the shipment landed miles off target.
Bleach said he was urged on by MI5 and Special Branch which wanted him to infiltrate the European suppliers of the cult.
The Home Office last year agreed to release details to the Calcutta court of a meeting between Bleach and two Special Branch officers in September 1995 at Bleach’s home in North Yorkshire.
Bleach gave the two details of the planned operation. Police say they warned him not to get involved.
However, it has emerged that sections of notes of conversations between Bleach and the officers were erased by Special Branch before they reached the court.
The sections referred to the involvement of MI5.
Sir Teddy Taylor, the Conservative MP, took up Bleach’s case and wrote to Jack Straw, the home secretary, asking why portions of the documents had been deleted.
Straw claimed in a written reply that: omissions were due to a “clerical error”.
However, a Special Branch officer, who flew to Calcutta earlier this year to give evidence in the case, admitted under cross-examination that the documents had been altered on “advice from the security service” and “as a result of security measures”.
Detective Sergeant Stephen Elcock was summonsed by Judge P K Biswas last week to explain why criminal proceedings should not be brought against him for allegedly tampering with the evidence and attempting to mislead the court.
Elcock denied there had been a cover-up or any impropriety.
The court order gives him until June 10 to appear or a warrant will be issued for his arrest.
Taylor yesterday accused Straw of deceiving him and said the British government had abandoned Bleach because he had become an embarrassment.
Richard Cook ex Vice Chairman Conservative party in Scotland
The CIA and the Danish connection: Neils Holck, *Peter Haestrup and Brian Thune (last two senior agents involved in setting up the operation but did not participate)
The Indian Government: J. K. Dutt, Joint Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI
MI5: **David Shayler MI5, Detective Sergeant Stephen Elcock and Jack Straw, Foreign Secretary
* Peter Haestup set up a company, in Scotland with, Prince Nawwaf bin Abdul Aziz, head of the Saudi Secret Service and Richard Cook, ex Vice Chaiman of the Conservative Party in Scotland.
Richard Cook, (who hasn’t got two buttons to rub together) later advanced the DUP a sum of money, believed to be around £500K to fund a Brexit campaign in the North of England, (which is where the bulk of the Brexit majority was located. Where did the money originate?
**Google David Shayler