NewsRussian intelligence suspected in MI6 cryptographer Gareth Williams' enigmatic death

Russian intelligence suspected in MI6 cryptographer Gareth Williams' enigmatic death

Williams was last seen on August 15th. A week later, his sister alerted MI6.
Williams was last seen on August 15th. A week later, his sister alerted MI6.
Images source: © Youtube

12:28 PM EST, November 29, 2023

It's been thirteen years since the death of Gareth Williams, one of the most talented cryptographers who worked for MI6. Williams was found naked and decomposing in a locked bag. The latest theory about this puzzling event implicates Russian intelligence.

The 31-year-old Welshman's body was discovered in a travel bag in his bathroom in central London back in 2010. The bag was locked with no fingerprints traceable anywhere. The key to the padlock lay inside the bag under Williams' body. All the locks in the man's apartment were removed.

Despite these enigmatic circumstances, in November 2013 the police considered the death of the code analysis expert to be "probably an accident". The case was subsequently closed.

Podcasters reopen the investigation

The death of Gareth Williams forms the focus of a new BBC Sounds podcast.

The podcast hosts speculate that Williams might have been on the brink of exposing some illicit activity which led to his murder.

Williams was last seen alive on Sunday, August 15, with an MI6 meeting scheduled for the following day, Monday, August 16. Another meeting was planned for Friday, August 20, but he did not show up. MI6 only expressed concern about his absence on August 23, following a call from Williams' sister.

Influential Russian oligarchs reside in London

Prior to Williams' death, London had become an attractive location for Russian oligarchs and billionaires. This scenario led to theories that the large amounts of cash flooding into the British capital were potentially from money laundering.

As per these claims, British security services were surveilling Russian organized crime, yet not actively investigating it.

According to former military officer Philip Ingram, the theory of Russian involvement in Williams' death aligns with the "methods employed by many distinct organized crime groups".

"I believe that he (Williams) was potentially involved in an investigation relating to organized crime groups from hostile countries or intelligence agencies. Performing such a dramatic act to send out a message is a common tactic of various intelligence services of hostile countries", stated the former British military intelligence officer.

Ingram further added that when Russian agencies execute, they "prefer it to be dramatic and message-carrying".

Yet, the real facts might never come to light.

"Intelligence agencies generally know exactly what transpired but fail to establish proof that would hold up in a court", commented Ingram.

Former KGB intelligence officer Boris Karpichkov claimed that Russian security services informed him that Williams became a target after being involved in a specific operation in 2010. Not a single piece of evidence in Williams' apartment added up - the data on his phone had been erased and the heating was on even though it was mid-summer.

A coroner's investigation in 2012 suggested that the death was "probably" a criminal act. However, the metropolitan police later stated that Williams had acted alone.

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