The liaison of Roy Jackson Moore and superspy Sweerts

The famous Austin-Healey car racer Roy Jackson Moore and his wife Denise met superspy Pierre Sweerts in Brussels in the sixties.  At that time Sweerts was a known figure in the jet set in Belgium, France, Spain, UK and USA.

The famous Auston Healey racer Roy Jackson Moore and his wife Denise met superspy Pierre Sweerts in Brussels in the sixties. Sweerts was a known figure in the high societies in Belgium, France, UK and USA.  Roy got to know him not as a successful businessman, but as a merchant of some sort, who liaised with the military high command, the secret services and retired World War 2 officers. Unofficially he was recruited by intelligence services to do the dirty work. These services employed quite a number of former RAF, Marine, army officers and even ex-SS soldiers for clandestine operations in North & Central Africa and South East Asia. The Cold War was full on. Roy Jackson Moore himself was a former RAF pilot. A typical British officer with a clean sheet. After the war Roy moved to the US and started his career in the car industry. By the mid-fifties he became famous when he started driving for Donald Healey, breaking speed records with Austin-Healey in the US, France and Italy. Sweerts on the other hand had a very shady past. Was known as a ex convict, a ladies’ man and a military advisor who travelled a lot in Europe and South East Asia. Nothing more. How they exactly met is unknown, but it must have been through their contacts within the armed forces. Did Roy know about his past? Or was he in for adventure?

Second World War

During the occupation Sweerts had joined the SS, became intelligence officer for missions in Iran and had set up sleeping cells for the Wehrwolf-network in Belgium and Holland. The latter would operate behind enemy lines in order to commit sabotage or gather intelligence. In the last two years of the war Sweerts used his position and papers of the German counter espionage service to smuggle war loot, luxurious and scarce products like cognac, watches, diamonds, etc, together with a band of professional racketeers they made a fortune on the black market. It formed part of a backup plan in case the Nazi empire would collapse. Sweerts was ready to sell and buy anything to fill his pockets. His German masters gave him the full go ahead in return for a share of the profits. At the end of the war, it became apparent to change sides. Better now than after the liberation when the Belgian ministry of Justice would launch an investigation into his collaboration activities. So Sweerts found a way out. He surrendered himself to the Britse counter intelligence. Where he offered to be a reference library concerning the German Sicherheitsdienst and Abwehr activities of foreign agents. He hoped to continue his intelligence work. Who his masters would be he didn’t care as long it was anti-communist.

In British Service

Sweerts was to become a very useful informant for the British IS. The Dutch section was led by the former German language teacher William Pidcock and his Dutch liaisons officer Hendrik Siedenburg. They were experts in counterespionage and turning spies. This duo tracked down several high-ranking undercover spies and was very successful in dismantling the Nazi underground movements. Their section chief Oreste Pinto got famous after the war due to his publication of his wartime memories in Spy Catcher. Claiming to be the top notch while Pidcock and Siedenburg did all the work. Anyhow Sweerts was recruited and with the Belgian government it was agreed that they would let him go on the condition that he never set foot in Belgium. To all parties it was known that Sweerts was convicted to death in absentia by the Belgian Military court.

After a very short period in Belgium, he was transferred to Holland in order to interrogate his former comrades of the Abwehr in the notorious detention centres for German spies and intelligence officers. From now on Sweerts was in the service of the British intelligence and stationed at the British American Tobacco company headquarters in Hollandsche Rading near Utrecht. Under command of D.O. “Charles” Seymour. As of that moment Sweerts was involved in very shady deals and contraband of Jewish assets. Under the protection of the British intelligence service, he was free to do as he pleased until the British forces withdrew from Holland.

His intelligence career did not end there. Soon Sweerts was part of an international private intelligence service (SOAN). In fact, it was an organisation of crooks, former collaborators and former Dutch intelligence service men who traded on the black market, blackmailed people, murdered several witnesses who would disclose information on who collaborated with the Nazis during the occupation and knew where the war loot was hidden. In 1949 the department of justice intervened and the organisation was disbanded. The police ended the shady business after the death of a prominent spy (Schallenberg). Sweerts was one of the last persons to be seen with this man.

Pidcock and Siedenburg

South East Asia

However, Sweerts was never interrogated or accused and was free to be deployed in new clandestine missions. This time he was recruited to lead the military operations against Sukarno. He became military commander for the Republic of the South Moluccas (RMS). His ops base was in Brussels. Exactly the place where was wasn’t supposed to be…Then the trouble started. First the fiasco of Raymond Westerling’s Bandung Coup (1950) in the former Dutch colony of the Dutch East Indies. An uprising that never fully took off. It lacked the backing of their own Dutch troops and the British. A year later Sweerts got involved in an accident in Antwerp. He got arrested and finally he was brought to justice. He would stand trial for collaboration with the enemy. It would mean life sentence. Though in 1957 he was set free. A limo of the British embassy picked him up. His time spent in jail did not affect his intelligence work. As soon as he got out, he resumed his clandestine operations. He travelled all over Europe and South East Asia. He resumed all contacts with his old army comrades and the British intelligence. MI6 and the CIA needed him to assist in the overthrow of the Indonesian president Ahmed Sukarno in 1958-1959 up till 1965. Again, his operational base was stationed in Brussels. Officially he was an international tradesman dealing in African art, gems, art and antique weapons. Unofficially he recruited mercenaries for operations abroad. At that time Sweerts was commander in chief of the military operations of the PRRI, the Revolutionary Government of the Republic of Indonesia.  His operational base was in Brussels. The PRRI government in exile was based in Switzerland. Sweerts himself was parachuted in secret several times on Indonesian territory for reconnaissance. During all these under cover intelligence activities he met the Jackson Moore family. They became close. Roy and Sweerts joined forces. During that time, he fell in love with Denise Moore. Roy’s wife.

Letter of “Poeske” Denise to Pierre Sweerts

 Joint venture

The business with Roy Jackson Moore started in the early sixties. They became agents for Bissets whisky. A distillery owned by the renowned family Mackintosh. Better known for John Mackintosh the Toffee King. Sweerts would cover the Benelux and Roy moved over to Ibiza. The isle was more and more becoming a tourist destination and with it more diversion was offered in the form of bars. Their house in Ibiza Peregrino and neighbouring Mallorca also became a centre of Hollywood stars and movie directors. According to some records Sweerts and Jackson Moore partied at Zsa Zsa Gabors residence in Mallorca. One of the other famous screenplay writers visiting regularly Mallorca was Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond. More of him later.

Moore an intelligence officer?

Was Jackson Moore part of this intelligence game after the war? There is no proof of that. But thanks to the love letters between Denis and Sweerts more info was revealed on the intelligence operations of Sweerts and his superiors, namely MI6 and CIA. The correspondence revealed that Sweerts not only prepared the missions for Indonesia for the new PRRI government in exile with help of the above-mentioned services, but also missions in the former Belgian republic of Congo. In Brussels and London, he recruited mercenaries for Moïse Tshombe, between 1960-1965. One of his recruits was apprehended by the UN troops during the Siege of Jadotville (1961). He was identified as a young Hungarian by the name of Bela Szabados. In 1963 he was set free and via the Portugese colony Angola returned to Brussels.

Anti-Communist actions

A witness stated that Sweerts would regularly visit the Mackintosh family at their estate during the sixties. According to the witness these sessions had to do with fundings of anti-communist missions abroad. Like those in Indonesia, Congo and in Europe. Some secret missions were directed from BAT offices in Africa. A much-used cover during the Cold War.

Love affair

It is unclear if Roy had any part in this. He did find out about the love affair which lasted for several months. Up till then they would secretly meet up outside London or at their house Peregrino at Ibiza. In the end Denise had to choose. The adventurous Sweerts or her husband and her three kids. She chose the latter.

More car racing hot shots involved in the independence struggle

In 1953 Roy Jackson participated in famous car races with Hollywood star Jackie Cooper, Lady Greta Oakes, Lance Maklin Donald Healey etc. Roy broke several records. He was not the only one. Winner of the 1953 Le Mans race was Andre Moynet. A former fighter pilot of the Second World War just like Roy. Moynet supported the independence struggle of the freedom fighters of the Republic of the South Maluku (Moluccas) against Ahmed Sukarno. Did Roy introduce Sweerts to Moynet or did Moynet introduce Jackson Moore? Who can tell?

More links to British intel.

One of the close associates of Sweerts and Siedenburg was resistance member Joop Vroegop from the Hague. Vroegop was a British-Dutch intelligence officer who provided intel on prominent members of the Dutch society, collaborators and the Dutch intelligence. Sweerts and Vroegop worked closely together during and after the war. In 1947 Vroegop was rewarded for his excellent intel reports a holiday by his British masters in Holland. At his hotel he met another prominent author of the nearby future, Ian Fleming. It was a small world. For three weeks they discussed all secret operations in and after the war. Main topic was the Englandspiel. Why the German counter espionage had been able to controle all SOE operations in Holland. But there was another link with the so-called Englandspiel and Bissets. One of the key figures of the Englandspiel and possible a double agent ended up working for Mackintosh after the war.

 

Split their ways

Around the time of the successful overthrow of Sukarno in 1965 Sweerts and Jackson Moore drifted apart. They still had their offices under the name of JPL Common Market Scotch Whisky IDM, Rue de Vergnies in Brussels. However Roy hardly visited the office. Sweerts was left to do the admin and the mainland distribution. At the same time Sweerts expanded his business with the sale of semi-precious stones, diamonds, art and other spirits. Travelling all over the world to acquire his stones, tribal art, antiques, etc. It was also a useful cover for this advisory rol for the by then in Brussels stationed NATO headquarters and Belgian defence ministers. Sweerts remained an unofficial undercover agent.

Roy on the other hand saw business in the upcoming tourism industry on Ibiza, Mallorca and the Spanish mainland. Later the whole family moved to the UK and stayed there. Denise started to paint, and Roy ventured into other businesses.

All Sweerts was left was Roy’s writing desk, a briefcase and some chequebooks in Roy’s name. He stalled these items at a fiancée house in the centre of Brussels. Where she ran an antique shop. It was his secret meeting point with high-ranking Belgian politicians and also close by the mercenary bar La Renaissance. Sweerts did visit London several times and went on to Scotland with his own son and the kids of his fiancée to visit the Mackintosh on their estate. If he ever met Roy again during these visits remains unclear.

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Ik ben non-fictie auteur betreffende de volgende onderwerpen Tweede Wereldoorloggeschiedenis, inlichtingendiensten, Koude Oorlog, huurlingen in Afrika en Indonesie, onafhankelijkheidsstrijd RMS, clandestiene operaties MI6 en CIA.