Bellingcat

Monday, 21 May 2012

Southern Investigations - What's In A Name

I've been sent another piece by a reader, this one looking at Southern Investigations, linked to various aspects of Hackgate.  It's a really well researched piece and makes some very well observed connections, well worth reading:

Southern Investigations - What's In A Name?

In the'black arts' world of smoke and mirrors, at least we can be certain that Jonathan Rees owned Southern Investigations.

But what if it is NOT true?

Southern Investigations is the private detective agency covertly bugged by police in 1998. This was Operation NIGERIA - the aborted attempt to glean evidence in the murder of Daniel Morgan. Daniel had established the business after gaining experience at Madagans private detective agency where he had first met Jonathan REES.  Operation NIGERIA was abandoned when it uncovered the intention to frame an innocent woman for drug possession, with the collusion of corrupt Met officers. Yet if you look at some contemporaneous reports, Southern Investigations is not mentioned at all. The business cited as bugged is 'Law and Commercial'. Curiouser and curiouser.
  
Delving into free-to-see databases of business details is enlightening. Ostensibly, the official Companies House registers have accurate details of active and dissolved businesses, individual company Secretary, individual Directors and so on.  'Southern Investigations Ltd' is a company registered in W Sussex, with no apparent link to Rees - as is  'Southern Investigations Services Ltd' which was incorporated (or sold on) in 2002.  

'William John REES' however (Director ID : 910928747, d.o.b 09/1954) was a director of 'Law and Commercial Services Ltd' together with Sid FILLERY.  A serving Met detective, FILLERY was - inexplicably - investigating officer on the Daniel Morgan murder case until he was replaced after four days by Detective Superintendent Douglas Campbell. This original 1987 murder investigation was corrupted and bungled badly. DS Campbell allocated an inexperienced detective, with no undercover experience, to try to trick FILERY into admitting collusion. The inexperienced undercover officer, Duncan HANRAHAN, was perhaps a questionable choice as he was "friendly with Rees and Fillery, and a fellow Freemason. Another disqualification was his posting at Norbury police station, where Rees had many other friends whom he was allegedly going to use ahead of the murder to fit up Morgan on a spurious drink drive offence."

A director check for Sidney Alexander FILLERY links through to 'SMMC Services Ltd' - Company Secretary is one Duncan Mark HANRAHAN.

In addition to 'Law and Commercial Services Ltd', FILLERY's past Directorships also include 'Planman Ltd', co-Director also William John REES.

William John REES applied for Core Participant status at the Leveson Inquiry before the start of Module 1. Eligibility for applying was given as 'may be subject to explicit or significant criticism'.

A search for 'William John Rees' reveals 10 known business associations.

In this labyrinthine tangle, one might be forgiven for thinking that there was a consciously convoluted strategy, tending towards the opaque. In deliberately muddying the waters, the technicalities matter.  One could answer quite truthfully on oath that one had no connection with, say; 'Law and Commercial' if one was in fact linked to a different business with a very similar name. This is a world where 'Law and Commercial' is a completely different legal entity to 'Law & Commercial' - yes, the ampersand is a legal differentiation. 

A similar confusion is revealed with a search for a known associate of Jonathan Rees, Philip CAMPBELL SMITH.  Apparently there are two of them - different Director IDentifier numbers, same date of birth (perhaps a coincidence, or identically named twins are a possibility...) with co-Director Graham Freeman, CAMPBELL SMITH operated 'Brookmans International Limited'.  
  
It provided "a wide range of services including security, investigation, surveillance, personal profiling, bodyguard, VIP protection, risk assessment, cyber investigation and electronic counter measures".  It was dissolved in 2011. Another Freeman company, Elite Maritime Protection Services (registered in Gibraltar) specialised in guarding marine traffic in piracy-prone locations, including the provision of armed, ex-special forces guards. Elite Maritime's Director of Security was now known as 'Phil SMITH'. Its business too seems to have foundered recently as both Freeman and CAMPBELL SMITH were convicted and imprisoned in OPERATION MILLIPEDE.  CAMPBELL SMITH, alias Rob Lewis, was covertly filmed by BBC Panorama admitting to hacking the emails of Ian Hurst and thus he may be of interest to OPERATION KALMYK. It has also been alleged that it was CAMPBELL SMITH who was commissioned by Jonathan REES to hack into the computer of Dave Cook and Jacqui Hames for the News of the World, in collusion with Alex MARUNCHAK.

There is also a virtuoso associate of REES renowned for his skills in accountancy and blagging. BARRY BEARDALL is In February 2012, Tom Watson MP spoke in Westminster Hall on Daniel Morgan's murder, Southern Investigations and REES's close links with the News of the World's Alex MARUNCHAK.  Tom Watson mentioned another REES scam business, Pure Energy.  On checking, it can be found that 'Jonathan William REES' (Director Identifier 909962227, and a.k.a. 'William John REES') was co-Director of 'Pure Energy & Power plc', incorporated in 2004.
"...the man who tricked a firm of London solicitors into handing over details of the sale of a Westminster flat that [Gordon] Brown had bought in 1992, is described as "a frontman for the Sunday Times … [who] used his accounting skills to set up phoney companies with phoney accounts and phoney histories and then conducted investigations which were at best highly unorthodox and at worst exercises in pure entrapment".
Barry William BEARDALL has been a Director or Company Secretary for numerous businesses, with vague and uninformative names such as 'Fortmile Ltd' and 'Abbeytrust Services Ltd'
  
The other named Director of Pure Energy was "Dr" Stephen Nathan, a.k.a. Ronnie Nathan - a serial conman who had met REES in Wandsworth Prison.

"His fellow director Rees was not the only other company man with a criminal record.  One of Pure Energy's two accountants, Barry BEARDALL, had also served six years in jail for VAT fraud after being caught attempting to smuggle £7m of alcohol into Britain."

Tom Watson's reference to 'Pure Energy' was to highlight that the News of the World's Alex MARUNCHAK and Greg MISKIW had a vodka import business registered at the same address as 'Pure Energy'. Their business was called 'Abbeycover Ltd'.  When asked about Tom Watson's speech, MARUNCHAK dismissed the claims,

 "As part of my master-plan to escape Fleet Street and become a multi-millionaire, I registered a limited company at Companies House in London through a chartered accountant. I believe he registered numerous companies at the same address"

One would expect that MARUNCHAK's co-Director would be found to be Greg MISKIW.  No, that would be incorrect as he is registered as 'Greg Miskin'.  Indeed, he has had businesses registered in the names 'Greg Miskiw', 'Greg Miskin', his birth name 'Ihor Miskiw', and 'Greg Ihor Miskin'. Covering all the bases, his mylife.com profile is in the name 'Greg Harry Ihor Miskiw', and he is named in the OPERATION MOTORMAN files as 'Greg Miskins'.

Given all the hacking scandal coverage since Goodman and Mulcaire were convicted in 2007, one would expect that the best course of action would be to keep a low profile and keep your nose clean.  In particular, REES has served lengthy time in prison since his early days working as a young bailiff for Madagans.

But wait.... there's yet another 'William John Rees', yet another Director ID but same date of birth. 09/1954. He has yet another Directorship of yet another current (but dormant) company 'City Mercantile Services Ltd' - co-Director with Bryan Edwin Madagan.

And who has just formed a new company, in Feb 2012, called 'Madagans International Ltd' - registered at the same address?

Well hello again, Barry BEARDALL....

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

2 comments:

  1. This is very good explain about the southern investigations. Private Investigator are finding and analysis to done cases in the few time.


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