Stuart Ramsay, rogue journalist or a hoax victim

Stuart Ramsay reporting from Romania. Photo : Sky

A good rule of thumb when you are working as a reporter is to never become the news yourself. This is precisely what happened to the Sky News Chief Correspondent, Briton – Stuart Ramsay when he reported from Romania claiming that he uncovered a secret network of Romanian arms smugglers and suppliers to any Islamic terrorists willing to buy from them – which proved not to be such a big secret later on. It became mysterious, confusing and extremely public.


The Eastern European Gun Runners report from Romania was broadcast on Sky News on August 7 2016 in the wake of the Paris attacks. Romania has accused the British reporter of fabricating the whole story.

The known facts :

  • Sky News was and is defending the story on gun smuggling in Romania by claiming it is a real story.
  • The Romanian arms smugglers are not real traders of death, one of them used to work for Vodafone( the mobile phone company) and was a keen hunter.
  • The Romanians involved, Aurelian Mihai Szanto, Attila Csaba Pantics and Levente Pantics have been arrested after the Sky News aired the video made by Stuart Ramsay, thus cutting short their careers in weapon supplies to the terrorists.
  • The Romanian weapons suppliers had no business plan in place and no experience in arms dealing, unless they wanted free marketing.The video ends with Stuart Ramsay himself telling the viewers that the arms dealers will expect him to be a buyer next time they meet.Since there was a cameraman present filming them and they were aware of it, we can safely assume that the Romanians knew beforehand that the meeting is not an opportunity to sell weapons.
  • The weapons on display are real but not illegal, the AK-47 is a modified version used for hunting.
  • Stuart Ramsay is not a newbie when it comes to reporting.


Romanian media reaction

Stuart Ramsay

The journalist from Sky News did not react well to the accusations made by the Romanian authorities, instead he took to Twitter to mock the accusations brought against him.

He comes across as a very puerile individual to say the least and that is not an overstatement.At the time his unprofessional response seemed genuine.But you have to be a bit weird to do his job.

He clearly misjudged the effect his reporting would have not only on Romania who has very strict gun control laws and has taken an almost daily battering in the British press before the Brexit vote , but also the effect on Sky News, whom now have no choice but to stick with his side of the story. For now at least.

He wants to be perceived as a Pro-European.

What is definite is that Stuart Ramsay will consider Romania from now on as the most dangerous country in the world for his personal safety, because Romania might arrest him. The Romanian investigation is not completed and a spell in a Romanian prison is not a holiday.

Romania’s DIICOT has the option to charge him and have the British authorities deliver him for questioning by using the European Arrest Mandate, bizarrely – the Romanian authorities chose not to.

However, the question if he was tricked by a conman, along with the ‘gun dealers’ or if he is a rogue reporter remains unanswered. Perhaps Sky News could send another reporter to Romania to investigate.

Could Stuart Ramsay , Sky News Chief Correspondent be innocent? Only he knows and for a reporter, he doesn’t talk much about it,when he could milk it ’till blood comes out. Or write a book about it.

Journalism can be a dirty business, like the legendary case of a reporter who threw some coins in a rubbish skip just to get some shots with children rummaging in them and claiming later on that the children were looking for food.

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