Nabbed Oracle Spy Rocks America's Cup

Cup holders accuse American billionaire of sending spy squads to snoop on yacht
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2009 2:19 AM CDT
Crew members of the Alinghi yacht SUI 100 prepare the spinnaker to round the mark during a practice session ahead of the last America's Cup.   (AP Photo/Fernando Bustamante)
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(Newser) – Skulduggery has once again hit the world's foremost sailing race with charges that a spy for US billionaire Larry Ellison's BMW-Oracle team was nabbed snooping on a rival, the Times of London reports. Spokesmen for Alinghi, the Swiss holders of the America's Cup, say they caught the spy sneaking around their facilities taking photos of their yacht. Authorities detained the man, who says he is a member of Ellison's "recon squad."

"I specify that I was officially authorized by my company to carry out this reconnaissance," said the accused spy, who was busted on suspicion of violating Swiss privacy laws after an official complaint from Alinghi. BMW-Oracle—which has been involved in a long legal battle with Alinghi over the Cup's rules—called the charges “trumped-up allegations that have nothing to do with the matter at hand," and said they had seen plenty of Alinghi's own snoops around their design bases.