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Monday, 16 April, 2001, 00:12 GMT 01:12 UK
Defence consultant's laptop stolen
Ministry of Defence
MoD said the laptop did not contain military secrets
A laptop computer belonging to a Ministry of Defence consultant has been stolen, it has emerged.

The computer, believed to have been left in a taxi as the consultant travelled from Waterloo station to Roehampton in south London, was reported missing to police on 5 April.

But the MoD denied national secrets were at risk and said the computer was the personal property of an outside consultant who was working at the ministry as an accountant

A spokesman said: "It has got nothing to do with the MoD. I can categorically say that it will not have on it any military secrets.

"Anybody working as a consultant here would not have access to secret material," he added.

Gold sticker

This is the latest in a string of missing laptops that have been lost or stolen in recent months.

Last December an MI5 agent sparked a security alert after leaving his briefcase on a train.

A series of similar blunders have included a laptop computer being stolen from another MI5 operative, an MI6 spy losing his computer in a tapas bar and a senior Army official's laptop being stolen at Heathrow Airport.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said of the latest incident: "It was reported stolen on April 5 to the local Wandsworth Borough police who are treating it in the normal way, as they would with any other laptop being stolen."

The Mirror newspaper reported the Dell Latitude computer with a shoulder strap and had a Ernst & Young gold sticker on the front a two bits of Blu-tack on the back.

The computer was worth 1,700 and the blunder had not been reported to MoD officials, the paper said.

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See also:

26 May 00 | UK Politics
Mystery of stolen Whitehall laptops
22 May 00 | UK
Stolen MoD laptop recovered
28 Mar 00 | UK
Second spy loses laptop
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