Former Russian spy says he was victim of poison attack in NZ

A former Russian spy says he was the victim of a poison attack when he was living in Auckland 12 years ago.

The claims come only one week after a poison attack in London which left former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in a critical condition.

Boris Karpichkov, a former senior KGB agent, told Good Morning Britain that three weeks ago he received a chilling warning foreshadowing last week's attack.

"[The] message [said] that something bad is going to happen with me and some other people, including Mr [Sergei] Skripal who I had no idea who this person is."

Mr Karpichkov claims he was walking down Auckland's Queen St in 2006 when he noticed a "common beggar" in his side-vision.

"Before this happened I also noticed that there were other people following me.

"She tried to grab my bag. I instantly remove with both hands and next what I felt was dust... into my throat and face.

"Then [the] beggar just walked away."

But 100m down the road he says he "nearly passed out".

"My head started spinning, I started sweating."

In the evening he says his nose started running and his eyes started "scratching and running".

His doctor in New Zealand told him it was a common flu, he says. But in the months to follow he lost 30kg - a third of his body weight - which he believes was a side-effect of the unknown powder.

Mr Karpichkov told Good Morning Britain he received the latest threat on February 12, his birthday, "by burner telephone" - and now wonders whether his life is in danger.

"When I was communicated, [it] was [a] chilling message. I took it as a joke because I didn't believe [it].

"I didn't regard it to be serious. Such warnings, threats, passed on to me, it's happened before, I'm still alive."