German spy agency HQ flooded after thieves made off with water taps

BERLIN (AFP) - The future headquarters of Germany's spy agency was flooded after thieves made off with water taps from the site, in a costly incident local media on Thursday dubbed "Watergate".

Unidentified burglars targeted the heavily guarded building site in the heart of the German capital, which has been hit by several setbacks since construction began nine years ago.

They ripped out water taps from bathrooms on the fourth, fifth and sixth floors in a passageway leading to the main part of the sprawling complex early Tuesday, leading to a massive leak that caused an estimated millions of euros in damage, according to media reports.

The motive was unclear as the taps are only thought to be worth a few hundred euros.

The foreign intelligence agency (BND) declined to comment and a spokeswoman for the federal construction agency which manages the building site only confirmed the theft.

The site is guarded by a private firm and monitored by dozens of security cameras.

German media leapt on the incident as one more embarrassment for the country's spy chiefs over the new complex, with Berlin's daily Tagesspiegel splashing the headline "Watergate at the new BND building".

The move of the BND to the German capital from its current headquarters in Bavaria with some 3,000 staff members has been delayed several times and is currently scheduled for 2017.

In 2011, the agency was forced to admit that the blueprints for the new complex had been stolen but played down the security risks posed by the loss.

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