862.20235/4–2345: Telegram

The Chargé in Argentina ( Reed ) to the Secretary of State

791. ReEmbtel 786, April 21, 2 p.m.13 Police gave out long communiqué on espionage April 21, evening, including arrest of Becker.14 Aside from biographical sketch of Becker and substantiating details, text contains little not already covered by Embassy. Many names included in Montevideo despatch 5683 of April 1013 mentioned publicly for first time, notably Burckhardt, Chantrain, Seraphin, Schwaiger, Fernandez, Villa, Anfrini, Castro, Andrada. Reference made to Uruguayan roundup of Pfeifer, Sciuto, et al and to Buenos Aires-Montevideo collaboration. Photographs published of confiscated transmitters, cipher machines, and microphotographic equipment. Regarding persons embarked for Germany in “small camouflaged ship” which brought Burckhardt, police state they were Heinz Lange, Philip Imhof, and Oswin (Werner) Seevers.

Communiqué states most agents had been identified for some time; police waited to get whole gang, majority now caught. As usual, communiqué is vague and not explicit as to who is under arrest.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Johannes Siegfried Becker, one of the leaders in the network of Axis espionage agents operating in the American Republics.
  3. Not printed.