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The plans of the Elysée Palace had been given to a building contractor.

The plans of the Elysée Palace had been given to a building contractor.

Confidential floor plans of the French presidential Elysée Palace, the Interior Ministry and the Paris police headquarters have been stolen from a car in Paris.

According to Britain’s Daily Telegraph, the plans on a USB drive and discs had been given to a building contractor who was hired to install fiber optic cables for video surveillance in the sensitive sites.

Thieves made off with the plans after the contractor left them in his vehicle when he briefly parked it in Paris to pick up a friend, the daily reported. None of the blueprints were encrypted, making them easy to read or copy by any user. A judicial source told Le Parisien newspaper that it remained to be determined whether the car was broken into by chance or was specifically targeted.

Not the first incident
In a statement, the ministry sought to downplay the theft, saying the documents were not classified and that their disappearance “put none of the sites concerned in danger.”

The stolen files also contained the floor layouts of several “large businesses,” it added. This incident is not the first security blunder for the palace since François Hollande took power. In June, it transpired that absent-minded secret service agents tasked with protecting the French president “forgot to pack their guns” while on a trip to a climate conference in Brazil.

August/23/2012

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