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No Pokémon for British Spies, as Pokéstops Vanish From MI5 and MI6 Buildings

Players report pokémon gyms and pokéstops have been removed from the UK’s secret service headquarters.

by Victoria Turk
Aug 11 2016, 12:40pm

The MI6 Building in Vauxhall, London. Image: Ron Ellis/Shutterstock

British spies hoping to apply their skills to pokémon training may be out of luck: Players report that pokéstops and pokémon gyms have vanished from London's MI5 and MI6 headquarters.

A redditor by the name of Mesoplodon remarked this week that a gym located at the MI6 Building in Vauxhall (the one blown up in the James Bond film Skyfall) had been removed.

Previously, several players had reported on Twitter and Reddit that there was a gym located at the MI6 Building, though some said it was not reachable from outside.

"There [were] at least two pokéstops too, one on the lion head statues in the wall on the little beach and at least one more on or near the little pagoda folly thing. I think there was another one down there a bit closer to Vauxhall bridge too," Mesoplodon wrote in a message. "It was a very common spot for lures previously, as you could sit between two and Dratinis were quite a common appearance."

Another player wrote that the pokémon gym at MI5's headquarters—Thames House in Millbank—had also gone.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which handles press requests for the secretive MI6, would not comment on whether the government may or may not have asked Pokémon Go creator Niantic to remove the pokéstops and/or gyms. Likewise, a representative from the Home Office, which responds on behalf of MI5, said she could not comment on the matter. Niantic did not respond.

It seems likely that this is the case; anyone can request pokéstops and gyms to be removed through a form on Niantic's support site, with suggested reasons being because it's "dangerous," "private property," or "not at this location."

No word on whether those Dratinis were deemed a security threat by Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service.

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