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UK exposes secret agent's sex life

Popov provided information on Pearl Harbor ahead of the attack
Popov provided information on Pearl Harbor ahead of the attack  

LONDON, England -- A Yugoslav playboy who was a real-life version of fictional agent James Bond became one of Britain's best double agents, intelligence papers have revealed.

Dusko Popov, codenamed "Tricycle" for his liking for three-in-a-bed sex romps, was recruited by Britain as a double agent during World War II after having earlier agreed to work for the Germans, British intelligence papers released on Wednesday by the UK's Public Record Office show.

The files, kept secret since the war, go into extraordinary detail about Popov's racy lifestyle.

A file containing more than 20 dossiers reveal how he became one of Britain's most valuable agents after he convinced the German military that he was acting for them and was their "best man in England."

But Tricycle's activities on Her Majesty's Secret Service were not always popular. During a trip to the U.S. in 1941, his extravagant lifestyle sparked alarm when he ran up huge expenses and dated a well-known actress, Simone Simon.

The files show he managed to run up an $80,000 bill for the trip in just 18 months.

"Tricycle's stay in America was not, on the whole, a happy one," a report from Britain's overseas intelligence service said.

Popov betrayed the German military by working for the British
Popov betrayed the German military by working for the British  

"Throughout his stay in the United States he lived the life of a playboy, and his only useful activity seems to have been that he took a course of flying lessons.

"He seeks to excuse his extravagances on the grounds that he had to acquire suitable social contacts upon whom he spent his money, such as Simone Simon."

On his shopping list was an expensive penthouse on New York's exclusive Park Avenue, a large car, skiing holidays at Sun Valley, Idaho, and a country house.

Unsurprisingly, Tricycle found life back in Britain dull in comparison to his U.S. lifestyle, Reuters news agency reports.

"Tricycle and Simone Simon appear to have been genuinely attached to each other and he obviously missed her greatly on coming to England, although he was not long in seeking to console himself elsewhere," the report added.

Popov succeeded in recruiting the very man who brought him into the German intelligence fold, although Johnny Jebsen, codenamed Artist by the British, appears to have met an untimely death at the hands of the Nazi secret police.

Having proved a rich source of intelligence for the British, Jebsen was kidnapped by the Gestapo in 1944 over financial irregularities and was never heard of again.

Popov was also asked by the Germans during his trip to America to gather sensitive information about the U.S. Pacific naval base of Pearl Harbor.

A document referring to the German request was dated August 1941, just months before Japan attacked the key base and caught the U.S. Navy completely unawares.


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