On January 6th (2005), the Prince’s spymaster, Robert Eringer, traveled to Paris for lunch with LIPS. LIPS’s choice–Cafe Lenotre, on the Champs Elysees–sucked to high heaven: Big picture windows, from which they could easily be observed, and tables arranged elbow to elbow for easy eavesdropping.
In a manner Eringer found smarmy and patronizing, LIPS’s told him he wanted to “streamline” i.e. focus solely on “the relationship with the Prince.” In other words, LIPS was not much different from the hangers-on and brown-noses.
“Does that make sense?” asked Lips, after shooting down most of the operational projects assembled during two days in Washington.
No, it made no sense at all. It was a waste of Eringer’s time and the Prince’s money. Soon after lunch, Eringer strolled into Charvet, the elegant men’s chemiserie, and ascended up one floor to peruse their fine shirts. He was the sole customer. A pretty sales assistant named Natalie gave him two shirts to try on. Eringer was in the dressing room when she parted the curtains and peeked in. “Do you have a friend who’s looking for you?” she asked.
“No,” replied Eringer.
She whirled around; Eringer glanced out of the dressing room behind her. Whoever had been looking for the spymaster disappeared, fast.
It was clear what had happened: the French-probably the DST-had trailed Eringer from lunch with LIPS.
Clearly, the time had come for Eringer to present himself to one of the French special services–to make them aware of what he was doing and, if possible, create a liaison partnership.
Eringer broached this with one of his assets, a former CIA station chief in Paris, who identified the DST as the right service with which to make contact, with this caveat: On the surface, the DST would be amenable. But since Eringer was a U.S. citizen they would perceive his presence as a U.S. encroachment of their domain and perhaps try to discredit him.
In mid-January (2005), Prince Albert was in Sweden to dogsled with the newest addition to his entourage, Carl Carlsson, a Swede who is in fact a respectable type.
On February 4th, Eringer briefed the Prince in London–a late morning session in his Dorchester Hotel suite.
Dipping into the breakfast trolley, Eringer began with his Charvet shirt experience. “The French may one day stop me on my way to Monaco through Nice airport,” he said. “I should probably make my role as your spymaster known to them.”
The Prince worried that this might leak to Prince Rainier. “It’s difficult,” he said. “My relationship with my father is very complicated.”
Moving on, Eringer identified several targets on which CIA had chosen to cooperate. The Prince acknowledged and approved.
Next, MING: The FBI investigation has accelerated as MING continues to travel almost non-stop. On the heels of scuba diving in the Maldives in early autumn, he took an unexplained trip deep inside Russia, followed by a visit to Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt in late autumn, then spent Christmas holidays in the British Virgin Isles. He arrived in Malibu in early January and pretends, in e-mail to me, to be there still, though he is actually in Whistler, Canada.
On the brothers from New Zealand: Confirmed-they have moved the bulk of their illicit, un-registered business enterprise from Monaco to Dubai. One’s home base is now London; the other divides his time between Dubai and Thailand, where he is said to be building a “gentleman’s resort.”
On Stig Carl-Magnus Carlsson: Has a string of great sucesses.
Eringer usually recommended that the Prince exert caution about associating himself with businessmen (or con men) like, but Carlsson- seems ok here.
The Prince requested that Eringer dig deeper on Carlsson. “Did investors lose money?” he wanted to know.
Eringer thought he was generally clean, but resolved to flesh out further detail.
Eringer suggested that the Prince’s aide-de-camp was not doing his job, keeping riff-raff away, but instead was establishing inappropriate closeness to those who wanted to ingratiate themselves with the Prince, allegedly for his own financial gain.
Eringer also briefed the Prince on Steven Saltzman and the lurid video he allegedly played at parties.
“I was not undressed,” said the Prince, adding that he would confront Salzman about this himself.
Finally, Eringer gave the Prince a written report from Italian sources. His Serene Highness took it elsewhere in his suite to read while sitting upon the throne.
Coming Next: A New Era is Born