(The Independent) – In 2003 Operation Tiberius found that men suspected of being Britain’s most notorious criminals had compromised multiple agencies, including HM Revenue & Customs, the Crown Prosecution Service, the City of London Police and the Prison Service, as well as pillars of the criminal justice system including juries and the legal profession.
The strategic intelligence scoping exercise – “ratified by the most senior management” at the Met – uncovered jurors being bought off or threatened to return not-guilty verdicts; corrupt individuals working for HMRC, both in the UK and overseas; and “get out of jail free cards” being bought for £50,000.
The report states that the infiltration made it almost impossible for police and prosecutors to successfully pursue the organised gangs that police suspected controlled much of the criminal underworld.
The author of Tiberius, which was compiled from intelligence sources including covert police informants, live telephone intercepts, briefings from the security services and thousands of historical files, came to the desperate conclusion: “Quite how much more damage could be done is difficult to imagine.”
The fresh revelations come a day after The Independent revealed that Tiberius had concluded the Metropolitan Police suffered “endemic police corruption” at the time, and that some of Britain’s most dangerous organised crime syndicates were able to infiltrate New Scotland Yard “at will”.
In its conclusions, the report stated: “The true assessment of the damage caused by these corrupt networks is impossible to make at this stage, until further proactive scoping has been undertaken.
“However a statement by an experienced SIO [senior investigating officer] currently attached to SO 1(3) gives some indication of the depth of the problem in east and north-east London: ‘I feel that at the current time I cannot carry out an ethical murder investigation without the fear of it being compromised.’
“The ramifications of this statement are serious and disturbing and provide a snapshot of the current threat to the criminal justice system. Additionally the fact that none of these syndicates have been seriously disrupted over the last five years provides an insight into the effectiveness of their networks.”
In one case identified by Tiberius, a leading criminal was acquitted of importing cannabis after he allegedly “bought” members of the jury hearing his case. A named police officer “was involved in some way or another”, according to the report. [more]
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