Viewing cable 08LISBON1874
Title: FOLLOW-UP REPORTING REGARDING ALLEGATION OF

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
08LISBON18742008-07-31 14:43:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Lisbon
VZCZCXYZ0003
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLI #1874/01 2131443
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 311443Z JUL 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY LISBON
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6962
S E C R E T LISBON 001874 
 
NOFORN 
SIPDIS 
 
FOR STATE ISN/CTR, PM/ISO/PMAT (24/7), DS/IP/EUR 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/31/2018 
TAGS: ASEC KCRM KNNP MNUC PARM PO PREL PTER
SUBJECT: FOLLOW-UP REPORTING REGARDING ALLEGATION OF 
NUCLEAR MATERIAL SMUGGLING - PORTUGAL 
 
REF: A. 07 STATE 162091 
     ¶B. HAYCRAFT/PMAT E-MAIL DATED 7/24/08 
     ¶C. LISBON 001808 
     ¶D. NAP ASSESSMENT DATED 7/25/08 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Thomas Stephenson, Reason 1.4 (c)(d)(f) 
 
¶1.  (S/NF)  Synopsis:  On July 24, a walk-in approached 
Embassy Lisbon and reported that he knew of 5 to 6 plates of 
Uranium that are for sale in Portugal.  The plates are 
allegedly in the possession of an ex-Russian General living 
in Portugal who was using a Portuguese Judge to broker sales. 
 Allegedly, the plates were stolen from Chernobyl.  A color 
photocopy of a photo of the plate was provided.  Referenced 
NAP assessment cast doubt on the provenance of the alleged 
Uranium and conjectured the Uranium brick was similar to 
African Uranium scams first noted in the 1980s. The walk-in 
was interviewed again on July 30 by GRPO chief and RSO. 
Additionally, following lead provided in the interview, the 
RSO learned through police sources associated with a 
counterfeit case in Coimbra, that the walk-in is well known 
and is nicknamed the "Giraffe" and is involved in many scams. 
End Synopsis. 
 
¶2.  (S)  Based on the analysis and other guidance, the 
walk-in referenced in ref c returned to the Embassy on July 
30, at 1040 hours.  The purpose of the interview was to 
elicit additional information regarding "Orlando", the Judge, 
the ex-Russian General, the location of the alleged plates, 
and get a copy of the promised "analysis" of the plates. 
 
¶3.  (S)  The walk-in arrived on foot at approximately 1040 
hours.  In his possession were keys to an Audi, Portuguese 
identity card, photocopy of "analysis" of the Uranium, and 
ten cents.  He had no wallet, cell phone, or miscellaneous 
papers in his pockets. 
 
¶4.  (S)  The walk-in stated he is unable to provide 
additional information regarding the Judge or the ex-Russian 
General. However, he described Orlando as married, with 
children, who works as a truck driver for a company named 
Largo.  He promised to provide the full name of Orlando later 
today (On July 28, the walk-in provided Orlando's cell phone 
number 916521158.  A Vodafone reverse directory listed the 
number as being registered to Orlando Jose Fernandes). 
Regarding the location of the plates, the walk-in claimed 
that one of the Uranium plates is located in the Judge's 
house and that the remaining plates are located in northern 
Portugal just south of the Spanish border.  He did not 
provide more specific information. 
 
¶5.  (S)  Of note, the walk-in claimed that Orlando advised 
him not to approach the American or Israeli embassies, but 
suggested that the Iranian or Libyan embassies would be 
better options.  He further attested that he has not 
approached anyone or any other government or entity with 
information regarding the plates.  The walk-in stated he did 
not want to sell the plates to bad guys because they are 
dangerous -- he would rather make less money than sell the 
plates to the bad guys.  Regarding the analysis, the walk-in 
stated that the analysis was done at Orlando's residence in 
Peniche.  He claimed no knowledge of what the analysis meant. 
 The "analysis" appears to be a "spectral analysis" of the 
plate compared with a known sample of some material (unknown 
word).  Magically they match.  The next step was subtracting 
various figures and densities and eventually arriving at 5.84 
kg of Uranium (The reporting officer says he received a D 
minus in college Chemistry, but nevertheless recognized the 
dubious quality of the "analysis").  A scanned copy of the 
analysis will be forwarded to appropriate offices. 
 
¶6. (S)  Overall, the interview, which lasted well over an 
hour, focused on the alleged sale of Uranium plates, but also 
covered a wide array of illicit money-making opportunities 
that the walk-in has been involved in within the past two 
years -- alcohol sales, counterfeiting, small-time deals. 
The walk-in, in a self-analysis, described himself as a 
perpetual failure and poor decision maker, in search of "El 
Dorado".  For instance, he claimed to have provided 
information in a US dollar counterfeit case within the past 
two years. The walk-in claimed over 10 million counterfeit US 
dollars were seized and that the USG was involved in the 
case.  It should be noted, that there was a large counterfeit 
case in northern Portugal within the past year and a half. 
The amount seized was approximately the amount mentioned by 
the walk-in.  The USSS did participate in the case and 
follow-up cases.  This counterfeit case was broadly 
publicized in the Portuguese press, however, the involvement 
of the USSS was not well publicized.  This claim sparked the 
RSO's interest since RSO was involved in coordinating the 
 
case with the USSS.  A subsequent phone call to a Judicial 
Police (PJ) source in Coimbra determined that the walk-in is 
well known to them and is nicknamed the "brother-in-law" and 
the "Giraffe."  Additionally, the walk-in is currently a 
person of interest ("arguido" in Portuguese) in the 
aforementioned counterfeit case and is a suspect in another 
case, according to the PJ source.  The walk-in may also be 
involved in selling stolen cars. 
 
¶7.  (S)  Assessment:  The walk-in is a small-time hustler and 
criminal.  Furthermore, the new information provided by the 
PJ places in question his bona fides.  At the least, RSO 
believes the walk-in is a witting participant in this uranium 
scheme.  The old Judge and ex-Russian General more than 
likely do not exist and were created in order to embellish 
the scam and add sex appeal.  Whether Orlando is a 
co-conspirator, unwitting pawn, or also an invented 
personality remains unknown. 
 
¶8.  (S/NF)  Next Steps:  Pending the final analysis by 
Washington, RSO and GRPO will present this case to the 
Judicial Police (PJ) and request that they investigate and 
determine whether these plates in fact exist, and if so, to 
seize them.  At this point there seems to be no nexus to 
terrorism or other nuclear material smuggling in Portugal. 
 
¶9.  (S/NF)  GRPO is sending in via their channels a report 
regarding yesterday's development. 
 
 
Stephenson