Bellingcat

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Operation Russia - Corruption and Controversy

Another reader contribution, this time covering Operation Russia, the investigation into police corruption with links to Ray Adams, the murders of Daniel Morgan and Stephen Lawrence, and much more:

In March 1987, Daniel Morgan was savagely murdered. Allegedly, he was silenced to prevent him taking his knowledge of a network of corrupt Met police to the News of the World's Alex Marunchak. Daniel's business partner, Jonathan REES was suspected of his murder.  

Also in that Spring of 1987, a very secret police operation commenced - OPERATION RUSSIA. Its aim was to investigate organised police corruption in London - particularly in South East London where the Daniel Morgan murder occurred. Intelligence pointed to corruption amongst those who themselves were tasked with pursuing the most serious crimes, such as high-level organised drug suppliers. It was believed that corruption between serious criminals and detectives was allowing both to prosper financially, and protect each other in close collusion.

OPERATION RUSSIA was interested in Commander Ray ADAMS. In 1987, soon after he took over as head of the Metropolitan Police's criminal intelligence branch, SO11, it was announced that Mr Adams was the subject of a corruption inquiry after a criminal alleged improper financial links with informants.
Adams's close associate, DC Alan "Taffy'' Holmes shot himself dead on 27 July , 1987, on the eve of Adams being interviewed by corruption investigators. Holmes had been interviewed twice, and was expected to face further questioning.
According to a South London detective Derek Haslam (himself somewhat controversial) 

Daniel's best contact in the south London police was Detective Constable Alan 'Taffy' Holmes.... Haslam claims Taffy Holmes and Daniel were getting ready to blow the whistle just before the private detective was killed...At the time of the murder, Taffy Holmes was serving on the Brinks Mat investigation.
Commander ADAMS was based at East Dulwich, local to Catford, Eltham etc. It was home of the South East Regional Crime Squad ('SERCS'or '9SERCS'), Detective Sid FILLERY from Catford police station, was initially tasked investigating Daniel Morgan's murder - without declaring his own close business links with the chief murder suspect, Jonathan REES. FILLERY's alleged destruction of evidence has scuppered all attempts to convict any suspect for Daniel's killing. 

One of the chief suspects in the Brinks-Mat robbery was Kenneth Noye - a known, violent criminal.  Noye was rumoured to be a registered police informant too, possibly as a way of getting rid of rivals. It has been suggested that Noye's police 'handler' was Ray ADAMS.
During his trial in 1985 for the murder of Det Con John Fordham - of which he was acquitted - evidence emerged that Noye had told the officer in charge of the Brink's-Mat robbery investigation, Brian Boyce, to ring a fellow officer named Ray Adams. Adams, Noye had suggested, would say he was "not a violent man or a killer". Mr Adams, who later became a commander of Scotland Yard's intelligence branch, is understood to have been one of Noye's police handlers
Another criminal informer allegedly 'handled' by Ray ADAMS was Clifford Norris.  In 1993, in Eltham, teenager Stephen Lawrence was murdered in a racist attack. Clifford Norris's son - David - was quickly identified to police, by multiple local people, as one of the perpetrators.  Clifford Norris, with his a fearsome criminal reputation, may have helped destroy vital evidence and have assisted his son David by coaching him in what to say (or not say) in police interviews. The Lawrence family suspected police corruption in the way the initial arrests were delayed.

In the 1999 Macpherson Report, the botched Lawrence investigation was criticised heavily. The Met was branded institutionally racist, and the delays which allowed crucial evidence destruction castigated. One police officer in particular, John Davidson, was deemed to have delayed arrests - though corruption was not proven.  However, there is also in the MacPherson Report a substantial section (chapter 31) devoted to the actions of Ray ADAMS. His strange intervention, via a letter to the Lawrence family, was questionable.  "On the same morning, Mr Adams left the police force never to return. He was ordered to go off sick with a bad back. He retired the following August. He later joined the international investigators, Kroll Associates, as did another senior officer in the Lawrence inquiry, former detective chief superintendent William Illsley."

After his time with Kroll, ADAMS went on to controversial News Corporation employment at NDS.

Meanwhile, OPERATION RUSSIA continued, led by John YATES.  It included investigating the Met's own anti-corruption operations, themselves dogged with allegations of illegality.  For example, questions were raised about an Operation Nightshade by Andrew Mackinley MP in 2000. A constituent of his, a Met detective suspected of corruption, had complained that he had been illegally bugged and recorded:
During the dinner conversation it was mentioned that that day's news had referred to the cross-examination that had taken place during the Macpherson inquiry into the death of Stephen Lawrence. Counsel for the Lawrences, Michael Mansfield, had cross-examined the controversial senior police officer, Ray Adams, about senior Metropolitan police officer relationships with the Norris family or clan.... I want to halt Commander [Andy] HAYMAN's  dilatory and partial handling of my constituent's serious complaints of wrongdoing...Commander HAYMAN should have investigated my constituent's complaints... he invited me to have a security briefing, but I declined, because I thought that such an approach was wholly improper.
OPERATION RUSSIA did net some high-profile convictions, for offences e.g. drug dealing, such as Met detectives Duncan Hanrahan and Tom Kingston. They were both also implicated in OPERATION NIGERIA: the covert bugging of Jonathan REES and Sid FILLERY's  private detective agency, Southern Investigations. Both Hanrahan and Kingston had been supplying Southern Investigations with information illegally obtained from sources such as the Police National Computer.

Ray ADAMS has recently cropped up again in May 2012 in relation to allegations that evidence of police corruption in the Stephen Lawrence case had been deliberately withheld by Scotland Yard. The evidence surrounds "Ray Adams, and whether the Met passed information to the Macpherson inquiry about its investigations into him, may be more likely to increase the pressure on the home secretary, Theresa May, to call a second inquiry."

OPERATION RUSSIA, and its somewhat familiar names, may well be about to come under even closer scrutiny.
UPDATE - As per this post there's now a visual representation of the above information links:


You can contact the author on Twitter @brown_moses or by email at brownmoses@gmail.com

3 comments:

  1. Operation Bohan
    Operation to discredit Ian Puddick for creating & promoting his harassing website www.policeexpenses.co.uk at a cost of over £1,000,000

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  2. Derek G Haslam (b Oct 1947, Wandsworth to Peter Haslam and a Miss Stow) is indeed controversial. He joined The Met and worked in an undistinguished fashion in Sarf Lunnen for many years. In 1977 whilst drunk he drove over a person killing them. His "punishment" was a year in uniform (he had failed to set the world alight as a Det Con). In 1989 he retired aged 42 on medical (mental health) grounds. By 2007 he was trying to blog on the "My Telegraph" site but this combined with a crisis over his sexuality (his wife Susan nee Probert left him) Haslam was now in Norfolk as London got too "hot" for him (Holmes funeral especially). Today Haslam earns a few bob "verballing" up old colleagues.

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  3. An LAPD officer, Jacquelin Montalvo, died in a mysterious accident three days after she agreed to offer testimony that could be very damaging to Nick Kroll and the corrupted LAPD's Threat Management Unit. The Richard Chang story is also relevant. Basically, a lot of cops and prosecutors(and judges) don't follow the law when Kroll is around. The incentive is a job with Kroll- a lot of money and glamour if you just follow their directives.http://henypire.blogspot.com/2014/01/review-of-kroll-show.html

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