TIBERIUS: ORGY OF BENT COPS

Scotland Yard sued for abandoning informant after report leak

A “high level informant” is suing Scotland Yard for failing to protect him when his identity was exposed to gangsters with corrupt cops in their pocket, The Upsetter can reveal. 

The explosive legal action comes after a highly sensitive intelligence report on “endemic police corruption linked to major organised crime” was leaked online.

Marked ‘SECRET’, the Tiberius report was written by the Metropolitan police’s anti-corruption squad, the so-called Untouchables.

Almost all of the 61 allegedly corrupt police officers named in the Tiberius report were never prosecuted or faced any sanction and some are now working as private investigators with blue chip clients.

The legal case has been launched after the 166-page report disclosed the informant’s real name and details of his double life as a criminal who was also tipping off the police about drug shipments. 

Speaking exclusively to The Upsetter, ‘Richard’ (a pseudonym), claims the Met showed no concern for his safety even though the leaked report said his police handlers were “corrupt” and allegedly helping top level gangsters.

“I would have three four million pounds a week. I had bags of it. I used to collect a million pounds every one to two weeks off of one family. They’d have 500 kilos.

“Many people had policeman in their pocket because that’s the way of the world. You do a flavour for the policeman, the policeman does a favour for you. And this was normal. One or two took money, that I know of, others took parcels, it might be of hooky money, counterfeit money. Others took cocaine as a payment. This was a normal way of life back then.

“One particular policeman liked a bit of cocaine so I give him cocaine. That’s what he wanted and that’s what I did.”

If Richard’s case is successful, it will expose the Met to similar claims by other informants potentially at risk who are also named in the Tiberius report.

A ‘callous disregard’

The 2002 report was first leaked to a newspaper in 2014 and subsequently made available online by a blogger based in Ireland.  

The Met has admitted to MPs that the document is authentic. The 61 named officers were said to be working with eight organised crime groups operating in north and east London.  

They include the feared Adams and Hunt crime families, which the report claims were able to penetrate police operations and murder enquiries “at will.”

It said murder investigations had been “compromised” as organised crime syndicates continued to “flourish and gain confidence in their ability to evade prosecution”.

The legal letter of claim recently sent to the Met accuses commissioner Cressida Dick of a “callous disregard for the safety and security” of informants.  

It said:

“The Commissioner’s failure to take any or any adequate steps to regain control over the Report and ensure its security poses a serious and continuing risk to our client’s life.”  

‘Richard’ is making his claim under the Data Protection Act and seeking aggravated and exemplary damages to “punish” the Met for its “indifference”, the letter says. 

It continues:

“The powerful organised crime network, on whom he informed, will have additional incentive to exact retribution because they have long memories and adequate resources to take steps to ascertain his whereabouts.”

‘Richard’ moved abroad but is stuck in the UK due to travel restrictions during the pandemic.

The lifting of lockdown can’t come soon enough. Chance encounters here or being spotted from afar by old associates is an ever present danger. 

“Before the report came out I could deny [being an informant] but now there is proof.”

Who’s H?

A concerned retired detective alerted ‘Richard’ to the leaked Tiberius report six years ago and says he asked the Met to act, but the report remains online.  

The retired detective originally turned ‘Richard’ into an informant in the 1990s during a murder inquiry. He asked to remain anonymous but is willing to give evidence if the case goes to trial.   

He confirms that ‘Richard’ gave high quality information about the trafficking of cannabis and cocaine from Holland to the UK and the movement of millions of pounds in cash to pay for it. 

Adding:

“At the very least the Met should have contacted [Richard] knowing the nature of the people involved. That failure shows a total disregard once his usefulness had been expended. Without good quality informants the police can’t combat organised crime. It should be a lifelong commitment to protect a CHIS.” 

The term, which stands for Covert Human Intelligence Source, was introduced to fans of BBC’s Line of Duty in the current series, which ends this Sunday with the much anticipated unmasking of H – the bent cop working in the shadows to undermine AC-12, the fictional anti-corruption squad modelled on the Untouchables.

Richard’s lawyers have asked the Met to provide details of any inquiry it carried out into who leaked Tiberius and whether the culprit, presumed to be a disgruntled police officer with high security clearance, was identified and punished. 

A Met spokesperson told The Upsetter:

“An investigation was conducted to determine how the report got into the public domain but no individual has been identified as being responsible.

Orgy of the Corrupt

Scholars consider Tiberius to be the most depraved Roman emperor who had limitless appetites for sex, particularly orgies.

By contrast, when Operation Tiberius was launched in late 2001, the most powerful policeman in the country and his deputy at the Met were quite pedestrian figures.

Sir John Stevens, commissioner from 2000-2005 and deputy commissioner to Sir Paul Condon from 1998-2000, had, at best, a blokey reputation for booze and birds. Nothing kinky.

His deputy and future successor, Sir Ian Blair, is a small man about whom it could be said - if he fell into a barrel of tits he’d come out sucking his thumb.

These, then, were the upstanding men responsible for rooting out the orgy of rampant corruption in the Met’s specialist squads and elsewhere.

According to the Tiberius report, detectives in the special intelligence section (SIS) and murder squads in north and east London had expressed concerns that gangsters were getting inside help from corrupt cops tipping them off about operations. 

In October 2001, an eight-person team selected from SIS and the Untouchables was let loose to investigate.

Overseeing them was a Gold group led by deputy assistant commissioner Andy Hayman, the head of the anti-corruption squad who was answerable to Blair and Stevens.

The timing of Operation Tiberius is curious because since 1994 the Untouchables had already spent many undisclosed millions secretly examining the Met's corruption problem to head off increasing calls for greater independent oversight of the police after the Stephen Lawrence murder fiasco and other scandals. 

Another curious feature of Tiberius was its restriction to only two corners of the capital, when the south and west were known to have serious corruption problems as well.

The third puzzling aspect was the lack of access Tiberius had to other corruption intelligence. For such a serious mission, albeit restricted just to north and east London, Hayman’s team could only access the Untouchables’ stand alone database of dodgy cops.

That database, codenamed Othona, was seven years old and very much an incomplete and at times incorrect intelligence picture on corruption in the Met. 

Other databases on corruption in specialist crime fighting units within and outside the Met were strangely off limits to the Tiberius team.

Nevertheless, after five months, Hayman produced an alarming report in March 2002, which starkly concluded: 

“The Met has a serious problem with organised crime infiltrating its databases and compromising its operations.”

Five murder investigations were thought to have been sabotaged by police leaks to gangsters.

Among them was the killing of Kenneth Beagle aka Kenneth Kenny, an alleged hitman and drug dealer, who was shot in the head in Romford, east London in a contract-style hit in November 2000.

Other unsolved murders that featured include: Ricky Rayner, 43, who was shot dead in Bow, east London in May 2001; Patrick Pasipanodya, 29, from Walthamstow, east London was shot dead in August 2001, and drug dealer Michael Olymbious who was murdered in south London in 1995.

An unnamed serving senior investigating officer is quoted in the report as saying:

“I feel that at the current time I cannot carry out an ethical murder investigation without the fear of it being compromised.”

‘Organisational Failings’

But more startling than the existence of bent cops working with eight organised crime syndicates, was the conclusion that the Othona intelligence collected secretly between 1994 and 2001 “had failed to provide evidential opportunities against [61] corrupt officers”. 

This "organisational failing" was put down to a “lack of inclusion and liaison” with other detectives outside the Untouchables and “a lack of experience and skills to investigate organised crime.” 

In other words, the Untouchables had operated in the shadows for too long, didn't know who to trust and therefore produced a lot of poor intelligence which it didn’t know how to develop into evidence.  

Consequently, suspected bent detectives had been left in post, some promoted, and others allowed to retire on full pensions.

The lack of experience to investigate organised crime was down to two factors: Many of those brought into the Untouchables on the offer of detective rank and quick promotion had never cut their teeth on serious crime squads.

The other reason, as relentlessly documented in Untouchables: Dirty Cops, Bent Justice & Racism in Scotland Yard (Cutting Edge 2004), was those who did have detective experience were carefully managing the anti-corruption drive since 1994 to ensure only the pockets of corruption they wanted exposed were investigated.

Hayman was part of this management exercise from 1999-2002. Operation Tiberius was his anti-corruption swan song and an attempt to go out on a high after what had been a disastrous tenure.

His one big success was taking down DC Martin Morgan in April 2000. The experienced and likeable detective had worked north and east London’s organised crime groups but was in bed with Bob Kean, an informant and prolific drug dealer with connections to Ireland and Spain.

Kean turned to Morgan when his money man disappeared with a lot of drug cash, some of it said to belong to Kenneth Beagle, the east London criminal murdered seven months later.

The Untouchables set a clever trap for Morgan and Kean to come to a hotel where bugs in the television provided unassailable video and audio evidence of them discussing the money man’s kidnap.

Morgan was awaiting trial when Operation Tiberius started in October 2001. The report was published eight weeks before Morgan and others pleaded guilty.

Not surprisingly, Hayman used the Tiberius report to big up his operation against Morgan. But the report’s wider conclusions can also be read as a swipe at the Untouchable bosses who came before him. Men like John Grieve, Roy Clark, Roger Gaspar and Dave Wood.

A senior intelligence officer said the Tiberius report did not land well within the Met. The source criticised it for sometimes joining low grade and good intelligence to make ‘conspiracy’ where there was none.

He said:

“When it was read by senior officers it was thought that none of it was new or unknown and they wondered why Hayman had not done a similar exercise for [the rest of] London, so it was shelved.”

Hayman was not disadvantaged and went on to be anti-terror chief as head of specialist operations before his own integrity was challenged.

In December 2007, the police authority allowed him to resign after an investigation was announced into his expenses spending. There were also media allegations, which he denied, of Tiberius-like encounters with a police woman who wasn’t his wife but worked for the watchdog.

‘Very Real Risks’

Returning to the legal claim from ‘Richard, the Met confirmed receipt. A spokesperson said:

“We are not prepared to discuss publicly the details of the Operation Tiberius report. By its very nature it is a secret document that details the threat of corruption to police employees posed by serious and organised criminals. The passage of time does nothing to reduce the very real risks to anti-corruption tactics, intelligence sources or current operations.” 

Then why was Richard abandoned to his own devices? The Met declined to say.

And so it goes.