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Friday, November 26, 2010

SCRANAGE, SHARON

A Central Intelligence Agency operations support assistant based in Accra, Ghana, Scranage gave classified information to her lover, Michael Soussoudis, a member of the Ghanaian intelligence service. She was identified as a result of a routine inspection conducted by a CIA team waiting for visas to enter Nigeria.
A search of her home disclosed some compromising photographs of her with her lover, whom she had failed to declare, and on this basis she was ordered home to undergo further interviews and a  polygraph. A mousy young divorcee, recovering from an unhappy marriage in which she had been physically abused and somewhat isolated socially within the male-dominated, largely white (Scranage was black) CIA station, she subsequently agreed to cooperate with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to entrap Soussoudis, a business consultant with permanent resident status in the United States who was related to Ghana’s military ruler, Flt. Lt. Jerry Rawlins. Despite the fact that Scranage seemed oblivious to what she had done, asserting that her station chief had been delighted by the fact that she had found a boyfriend, she was charged in July 1985 and in November was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, later reduced to two years. Soussoudis was sentenced to 20 years, suspended on the condition he leave the United States immediately.
The case caused some anxiety for the CIA because the chief of Ghana’s intelligence service, Kojo Tsikata, was a Marxist with links to Cuba, Libya and East Germany, suggesting either that Scranage’s information had gone straight to Moscow or that Soussoudis was working for the Cubans, hoping to cultivate Scranage for future access, perhaps during her next posting, which was scheduled to be Calcutta. In terms of cost, the breach in security proved expensive in financial terms, with 28 of the station’s local sources demanding immediate  resettlement in the United States, among them the dissidents who reportedly had been planning a coup.