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|Ibori: British Police Corruption - Illegal Payments - Trading In Information by CAnderson: 7:20pm On Nov 30, 2011|
More details have emerged on how former governor of Delta State, Mr James Ibori hired investigators to obtain information on a British police investigation into his business affairs. The London-based private detective agency then paid Met officers £20,000 for inside information that helped Ibori's defence lawyers. After much perseverance, an elombah.com investigator this week was able to see a copy of the 18th August 2011 referral complaint to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, IPCC which is being jointly conducted by the Directorate of Professional Standards, DPS.
The referral was made specifically by the Met Chief Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers who elombah.com believes will now incorporate into the London Metropolitan Poilce’s main anti-corruption enquiry, Operation Elveden.
Labour's Deputy Chairman Tom Watson MP, who have successfully exposed the Murdoch cash for information - corrupt payments to british Police officers is also spearheading this matter.
“The story has now got its legs and has a very long way to run”, elombah.com was told
The allegations are referenced in versions: 'Police Corruption - Illegal payments - Trading in Police information'.
The Elombah.com investigator said the key points from the report are as follows:
1. "This letter is intended to provide you brief details as to the making of illegal cash payments to serving police officers within the Metropolitan Police Service. Documents evidencing such payments are attached herewith for your information."
2. "Whilst the News of World inquiry has highlighted telephone hacking primarily of celebrities and public figures for which serving police officers were illegally paid significant cash payments, a wider and more lucrative area is the provision of sensitive police cash intelligence to businessmen and other wealthy individuals who are the subject of police investigations."
3. "Another private detective agency that has provided sensitive case information to those who are the subject of police and/or revenue investigations in return for cash. "
4. "One such agency that has been identified is called RISC Management Limited. It is based in Mayfair and operated by a former New Scotland Yard Detective - Keith Hunter."
5. "It was the contact base that provided the former detectives the ability to obtain sensitive information on cases being investigated and prosecuted by the UK authorities. Information obtained was then sold to their clients and in some cases used by the officers to pervert the course of justice."
6. "At least six current and live cases have been identified where information has illegally been exchanged for cash. They all involve Hunter/RISC as the agency corrupting the officers. These cases are as follows:
, 2. James Ibori - A Nigerian politician currently facing criminal proceedings who paid off £20,000 to serving officers of the Metropolitan Police, "
Ibori is not the only foreigner being investigated in connected with this scandal.
According to another report by Elizabeth Jennings (Freelance Journalist) sent to elombah.com, " It is believed that one of the cases includes the Serious Fraud Office’s investigation into the Tchenguiz Brothers, another relates to a high profile African politician, and another to a wealthy foreign businessman facing extradition proceedings. This will be another shocking development into this ever expanding investigation, which seems to be developing with each day."
Allegations of illegal payments were reported by the Times journalist Michael Gillard several years ago but the claims were quickly suppressed, drawing parallels with the recent case involving Ian Hurst, the former army intelligence officer at the centre of the latest phone hacking enquiry.
The Agency has been identified as London based RISC Management Limited; it is operated by Keith Hunter, a former detective of New Scotland Yard. Hunter established the business with his business partner, Nigel Brown, It has been alleged that Hunter used his personal and professional contacts with the Police force to trade in sensitive police and revenue case information for cash.
RISC Management Limited provides a risk management business, which, according to its website, focuses predominantly on corporate investigations, intelligence and security consultancy, specialising in complex and sensitive inquiries for clients from within the legal profession, high net worth individuals and large corporates. It operates in the commercial world in obtaining sensitive information for a tactical advantage in civil and criminal matters for its clients.
The flamboyant Hunter has a known passion for race horses, has the ability through his contacts to obtain banking information, DVLA, itemised telephone records, email interceptions, tax files and anything else that was confidential and would assist his client. This is what is presumably referred to as “sensitive inquiries” on the Company’s website.
This will not be the first time the Agency has come under scrutiny. In 2006, Hunter was named by the Times as having bribed an officer in the Metropolitan Police's Extradition Unit, Detective Sergeant Gary Flood. Flood was suspected of abusing his position as a police officer, by accepting £20,000 in bribes from Russian criminals.
The internal Metropolitan Police investigation at the time decided that there was insufficient evidence to support these allegations. However, fresh, constantly emerging evidence, which is currently being considered by the Anti-Corruption police, is now likely to challenge this.
In the article published by the Times, under the headline “Detectives accused of taking bribes from Russian exiles” there were either strong grounds to believe, or reasonable grounds to suspect, that he had abused his position as a police officer by accepting £20,000 in bribes from some of Russia’s most wanted suspected criminals in return for selling them highly confidential Home Office and police intelligence about attempts to extradite them to Russia to face criminal charges.
The Russian exiles were all in fact clients of RISC and Hunter.
At the same time, allegations also surround the targeting of a number of senior police officers. The communications of Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick were also intercepted. It is believed that her mobile telephone was hacked into by RISC operatives over a sustained period, as were telephones of other senior officers in order to gain information on a number of internal investigations which came close to exposing RISC’s activities.
Most crucial will be the question as to whether this was yet another example of a Police cover-up, in line with the views expressed by Ian Hurst. Mr Hurst, a former army intelligence officer whose computer is believed to have been hacked by News of the World searching for details of the latest IRA informer, believes that the Metropolitan police are attempting to conceal and suppress the allegations in order to
preserve their credibility, accusing them of 'endemic corruption'.
He first spoke out about his suspicions in 2006 but states that the police were reluctant to investigate them at the time. Indeed if they had acted on the information that they had, it would have prevented many more victims. He believes that we are dealing with 'institutionalised corruption', and indeed Scotland Yard is currently investigating the allegations of police misconduct.
Directly following the News of the World cash for information allegations, if proven, this will be a further blow to the Metropolitan Police’s credibility. Public confidence in the police has never been so low. Desperate and positive action is urgently required to reinstate public confidence and restore morale within the force.
These allegations have already resulted in the resignations of the Metropolitan Police's most senior officer, Sir Paul Stephenson and his Assistant John Yates. This shows the extent of the damage that has been caused. Sir Paul Stephenson was alleged to have received £12,000 of hospitality from Champneys, a luxury Health and Spa Centre.
It is now widely accepted that Assistant Commissioner John Yates misled the Parliamentary Committee investigating this matter when giving evidence under oath. Last week Sir Hugh Orde, head of the Association of Chief Police Officers, appeared on the Andrew Marr show.
When asked what should happen to corrupt police officers and if corruption is endemic, he replied:
“Without question. I have zero tolerance of any officer that steps outside that line regardless of their rank or whether they're a sworn officer or indeed a member of support staff supporting policing. There is a zero tolerance of that, and this inquiry or one of the many inquiries will look precisely at that and will pursue police corruption to the ends of the world, absolutely.
Every police officer patrolling the streets this morning expects any corrupt officer that lets the side down, that does huge damage to policing to be locked up and the key thrown away”.
Yet we have now a conflicting statement from the acting Commissioner, Tim Godwin, declaring that corruption within the Metropolitan Police is “in no way endemic”, dismissing claims that the Metropolitan Police had "let its guard down and allowed corruption to infiltrate the police force".
In the words of Elizabeth Jennings, a Freelance Journalist:
"We can only hope the Police hierarchy will now wisely use this opportunity to deal with this beast of endemic corruption internally and in the forthcoming judicial enquiry before Mr Justice Levesen. The scope of the enquiry is already considerable, and it can only really start after the police allegations are fully investigated and concluded."
Deputy Assistant Sue Akers certainly has a difficult task ahead. It begs the question, just how deep does corruption extend within the London Police force?
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