Ecuador claims bug found in its London embassy


Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino holds up a photograph of what he says is the electric socket at his country's embassy in London where a hidden microphone was found, during a press conference in London in Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday, July 3, 2013. Patino said that two weeks ago a hidden microphone was found where Wikileaks founder and publisher Julian Assange is holed up. "We want to find out with precision what the origin of the apparatus is." (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)


QUITO, Ecuador  — Ecuador’s foreign minister says a hidden microphone found inside its London embassy, where Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is staying, may have been operated by a private British surveillance company.

Ricardo Patino said the microphone was found inside an electricity outlet in the office of Ambassador Ana Alban in mid-June when Ecuadorean technicians reviewed the embassy’s wiring. Assange lives and works in a different room.

The purpose of the bug was to listen to the ambassador’s conversations, Patino told a news conference in Quito, Ecuador, holding up a picture of the purported microphone.

“We have reason to believe that the bugging was carried out by The Surveillance Group Limited, one of the largest private investigation and covert surveillance companies in the United Kingdom,” he said.