Ecuador spent at least US$5 million on a spy operation to support and protect WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in its embassy in London, media reported.
Documents seen by The Guardian newspaper revealed that millions were put into a secret intelligence operation, dubbed “Operation Guest,” and employing undercover agents to monitor Assange’s visitors, embassy employees and the UK police.
Moreover, a joint investigation by The Guardian and the Focus Ecuador media outlet showed citing sources that the operation had been approved by former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa and former Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino.
According to the newspaper, the security team also recorded the WikiLeaks founder’s daily activities in minute detail, as well as his interactions with Ecuador’s embassy staff and other visitors.
Assange took refuge at Ecuador’s Embassy in London in 2012 after he was accused of sexual offenses. He fears extradition to the United States where he is wanted for leaking damning Iraq War logs.