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Secret agent holds Poland in thrall

The true identity of Agent Tomasz, a lothario who has become a laughingstock, is unknown.

Actor Daniel Craig waves to fans as he arrives at the Japanese premiere for the James Bond movie "Quantum of Solace" in Tokyo, Nov. 25, 2008. Recently, Poles have been following the story of their country's apparent real-life James Bond. (Issei Kato/Reuters)

WARSAW, Poland — Britain has James Bond, America has Maxwell Smart and Poland has a combination of the two: the so-called Agent Tomasz, a spy responsible for unearthing corruption scandals who has in the process become a national laughingstock.

The mysterious Agent Tomasz works for the Anti-Corruption Bureau (CBA), an agency created in 2006 to root out corruption among Poland’s business and political elites. Under the guidance of Mariusz Kaminski, a former politician turned self-styled law-and-order sheriff, the CBA has been involved in a series of high-profile investigations, many of which have featured the glamorous secret agent Tomasz.

His first big break was in a sting operation aimed against Beata Sawicka, a member of parliament for the centrist Civic Platform party. Sawicka was a little known backbench politician who had never been suspected of corruption. Agent Tomasz ended up sweeping the plain-looking parliamentarian off her feet, and persuading her to accept a $37,000 bribe for assisting in a seaside land deal.

“He was younger than me, he dressed well, had a sporty Mercedes with a white interior, lots of money in his wallet, he smelled nice, had white teeth, gold jewelry and long curly hair,” Sawicka testified during her trial. “He covered me in kisses, my head was spinning.”

She was arrested just before the 2007 elections, during which her Civic Platform party was fighting for power with Kaminski’s right-wing Law and Justice party.

The incident “commands one to consider for whom one should cast one’s vote,” Kaminski said just before the election, in a news conference announcing Sawicka’s arrest.

That comment got Kaminski accused of trying to interfere in politics, but didn’t manage to prevent a Civic Platform victory in the election. Donald Tusk, the new prime minister, surprisingly didn’t immediately fire Kaminski, which allowed Agent Tomasz to continue his cloak and dagger activities.

His next target was Weronika Marczuk-Pazura, the blond and curvaceous hostess of one of Poland’s televised dancing shows. He flashed a fat billfold, and impressed her and her friends with his Porsche and his Harley, while asking for her help in setting up business deals in neighboring Ukraine.

“He tried to seduce me,” she told Polish television.