The woman in the center of the “Novichok” false alarm, Russian-born Anna Shapiro, who has claimed to be hunted down by Russians on the assumption that she was a British spy, has earned money as a $5,000-per-night prostitute, the Mirror, a British tabloid, reports. According to the outlet, she told her friends that she worked as a “honeytrap spy” for the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, seducing men for the service.
At the same time, her 42-year-old husband Alex King, who was hospitalized after collapsing in a restaurant in Salisbury where the alleged assassination of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia took place in March, has been suspected of dealing cocaine, ecstasy, diazepam and ketamine. Charged with 12 counts of possession, he is to face trial in London next year.
According to the Wiltshire police, the couple, who fell ill at a restaurant near the scene of the alleged attack on the Skripals, have been discharged from the hospital.
The “Novichok” scare uncoiled on September 16, as the police reported that the 30-year-old woman and 42-year-old man had collapsed after dining in the restaurant Prezzo in Salisbury, which is just 300 meters away from another Italian eatery where ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter happened to have lunch before being hospitalized following the alleged poisoning. The man as well as his wife and the waiter who helped them were taken to a local hospital.
Following the Skripal affair as well as the Amesbury poisoning, where a local woman died after using a perfume bottle allegedly containing a nerve agent, found by her partner, the emergency services were concerned that the Salisbury couple had been exposed to an unknown substance and taken “ a highly precautionary approach," as the police stated. However, the immediate tests let the police rule out that Shapiro and King had been exposed to 'Novichok'. Later the police reiterated that the incident was not being treated as suspicious.