Met Flying Squad officers 'plotted corrupt cash van kidnap'

Flying squad officers allegedly plotted a kidnap for £50,000.

Related Stories

Corrupt police in the Flying Squad were suspected of plotting to kidnap the partner of a cash van driver to obtain a £50,000 ransom, secret intelligence reports obtained by the BBC reveal.

According to the documents, a group of London-based officers hatched the plot in the mid-1990s.

Police sources told the BBC the reports were part of a "lorry-load" of documents thought shredded by the Met.

The Met said it does not comment on leaked intelligence reports.

The documents say the plot began after the cash-driver's partner was kidnapped by bank robbers.

The driver was ordered to go to his depot and fill a suitcase with £50,000 to secure her release - a style of heist known as a "Tiger kidnap".

Start Quote

It sounds more like the plot of a bad police film than anything you would connect to the Metropolitan Police”

End Quote Jenny Jones AM

Five days later officers from the Flying Squad began to investigate.

But the reports claim officers then decided to repeat the plot themselves - targeting the same driver and his partner once again.

Already involved in probing the first crime, they knew they would be tasked with investigating any second, identical offence.

This meant they would in effect be investigating themselves - so they could get away with the crime.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe was grilled over the shredded documents by MPs

The intelligence reads: "Information was received that officers attached to the Flying Squad were involved in the planning and commission of armed robberies and other criminal acts.

"The van driver was to be approached and shown a ring belonging to his wife."

When anti-corruption police learned of the conspiracy the officers were investigated and their phones were tapped.

Hand grenade

Their investigation forms the basis of the two intelligence reports obtained by the BBC.

One of the reports continues: "It was learned the next robbery was planned... when the driver would be attacked as he parked his vehicle.

Met Police Flying Squad

  • The Flying Squad is a branch of the Metropolitan Police set up to investigate armed robberies
  • It has been established for almost a century
  • Among the most famous plots the squad have investigated are the Great Train Robbery and the attempted Millennium Dome Raid in 2000

"His house keys would be taken and one of the 'gang' would leave and return with his wife's ring and tell the driver she would be hurt if he did not do as instructed.

"This scenario has allegedly been used on one other occasion by the officer when he netted £40,000."

It goes on: "General information is [the informant] was introduced to this officer about 18 months ago. [The informant] has a gun for which the officer supplied him with 100 bullets.

"He [one of the officers] was also supplied with a grenade."

Cash van (library) A cash van was robbed in the mid-90s; corrupt officers allegedly planned to repeat the offence

It is understood that at this point the officers abandoned the plot after becoming aware of anti-corruption investigations.

Police had been hoping to arrest them when they attempted to execute the kidnap. When this did not happen there was not enough evidence to prosecute.

Several police sources have corroborated to the BBC that the reports are genuine.

Start Quote

Information was received that officers attached to the Flying Squad were involved in the planning and commission of armed robberies and other criminal acts”

End Quote Confidential report

The disclosure comes weeks after a mass shredding of documents relating to a corruption inquiry in the Metropolitan Police was revealed.

The "lorry-load" of material was shredded over two days. It was related to an anti-corruption inquiry that began in 1993 and continued for a lengthy period of time.

The BBC asked the Met whether it could find and account for the two intelligence reports.

The force is understood to have found one of the reports backed up on computer.

At the time of publication the Met has not been able to find the other report, despite having been made aware of the issue five days ago.

London Assembly Member Jenny Jones, who sits on the Police and Crime Committee, said: "It sounds more like the plot of a bad police film than anything you would connect to the Metropolitan Police.

"It's also very concerning the information was apparently lost in the police shredding.

"The commissioner is going to have to make a clear statement on these matters."

Daniel Morgan Daniel Morgan's body was found in a London pub car park in 1987

One of the allegedly-corrupt officers mentioned in the intelligence reports was known to be friendly with those suspected of murdering Daniel Morgan.

Mr Morgan was killed with an axe in a pub car park in 1987 before he could blow the whistle on police corruption.

His brother Alastair said of the latest disclosures: "Why has it been kept in the dark so long?

"And if this is a widespread phenomenon, how much else has been buried? We just don't know."

The BBC has now traced the kidnap victim, who was unaware she was the target of a suspected corrupt police plot.

Start Quote

It must be deeply disturbing to hear from the media, nearly twenty years on, you were the intended target of a kidnap plot”

End Quote Met spokeswoman

She is now considering legal action against the Met.

A Met spokeswoman said: "The nature and scale of corruption within the MPS in the 1990s was recognised at the time as entirely unacceptable.

"The fight against corruption was carried out with determination, vigour and innovation.

"The result was a number of corrupt police officers went to prison or were sacked from the MPS."

She added: "We have already accepted that historically the Met did not keep good records of what was retained or destroyed.

"We are determined to ensure that records are now fit for purpose."

The Met said it was confident it held intelligence on the officers named in the reports.

The spokeswoman added: "It must be deeply disturbing to hear from the media, nearly 20 years on, you were the intended target of a kidnap plot.

"In the modern day MPS, victim care is of the utmost importance."

More on This Story

Related Stories

BBC London



21 °C 14 °C

BBC Local Live

    Rough sleepers 11:07:

    BBC London 94.9's Richard Main tweets: Most of the Roma 'moved on' by the @metpoliceuk haven't gone far, simply moved to the corner of Bayswater Road!

    Homeless raids
    News on the hour 10:59:

    The lead story at 11:00: Police and immigration officials have carried out an early morning crackdown on begging and rough sleeping at known hotspots like Bond Street and Marble Arch.

    Things to do 10:47:

    Empire Faith War tweets: Major exhibition on the Sikh & Indian contribution to #WW1 now on @SOAS A must see for all Londoners@BBCLondonNews

    Warnock 'talked to Palace' 2013 10:37:

    Neil Warnock claims he first considered a return to Crystal Palace before Tony Pulis' appointment in 2013 and is not concerned about not being first choice after signing a two-year deal to succeed Pulis.

    Neil Warnock

    He said: "Before Tony came there was a possibility that he wasn't going to and we talked then. [Chairman and co-owner] Steve Parish has always known that I am available."

    Have your say 10:26:

    What do you think of BBC Local Live? We'd like your feedback about this service.

    Tube cleaners balloted 10:17:

    Cleaners on the Tube are to be balloted for strike action as part of a long-running dispute over working conditions.

    Their union, the RMT, objects to their employer ISS using fingerprint technology when they sign in for their shifts.

    Seven Seas swimmer en route 10:08:

    Lewis Pugh, the UN Patron of the Oceans is en route to London in the final leg of his Seven Seas Campaign to encourage governments to set aside 10% of the world's oceans for protection.

    Lewis Pugh in Monaco Lewis Pugh in Monaco

    Over the past four weeks he has completed swims in the Mediterranean, Adriatic, Aegean, Black, Red, Arabian and North Sea. He is due to start at Gravesend today, finishing at the Thames Barrier later this morning.

    Redknapp 'to stay at QPR' 10:02:

    BBC London 94.9 sports reporter Phil Parry tweets: #qpr Redknapp confirms he has a two year extension contract waiting to be signed... Might sign it today or tomorrow.

    News on the hour 09:56:

    The lead story in the BBC London 94.9 10:00 bulletin: Police and immigration officials have carried out an early morning crackdown on begging and rough sleeping in six London boroughs, targeting known hotspots like the subways beneath Marble Arch.

    Palace in Zaha signing talks 09:47:

    Crystal Palace have re-signed winger Wilfried Zaha from Manchester United on a season-long loan.

    Wilfried Zaha with play-off trophy

    The 21-year-old signed for United from Palace in January 2013 in a £15m deal, then finished the season on loan at his old club, helping them win promotion.

    Police raise pensioner's holiday money 09:37:

    Police officers in Enfield have donated £122 to a 94-year-old man after his holiday savings were stolen, the Enfield Independent reports.

    In the papers 09:26:

    A man with Down's syndrome faces deportation to Lebanon after his application to stay in the UK was refused by the Home Office, reports Your Local Guardian.

    Wadih Chourey, 44, from East Twickenham, came to the UK from Lebanon in 1997 and his parents, who lived in Beirut, died in 2010.

    He was originally brought to the UK after being mentally and physically abused outside his parents' home.

    Rough sleepers 09:16:

    BBC London 94.9's Richard Main tweets: Home office immigration teams work alongside the police to process the 25+ Roma found sleeping rough at Marble Arch

    Immigration teams help rough sleepers
    Travel 09:05:

    First Capital Connect tweets: Due to the rebuild at #LondonBridge we are unable to call at #Redhill. Passengers can use @SouthernRailUK and change at East Croydon #TLPAug

    News on the hour 08:55:

    The top news story at 09:00: Scotland Yard, the Home Office and Westminster Council target beggars and rough sleepers in a series of early morning raids at Marble Arch.

    On air 08:44: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    Penny Smith sits in for Vanessa on the morning Scotland Yard launches an operation to disrupt rough sleepers at Marble Arch. She's asking what can be done to reduce the number of homeless people on the streets of the capital?

    You can listen live on BBC London 94.9 and contact the team on 020 7224 2000.

    Top headlines
    Spurs through to Europe 08:31: Jonathan Jurejko BBC Sport

    Mauricio Pochettino's winning start as Tottenham manager continued as they thrashed AEL Limassol to clinch their place in the Europa League group stage.

    Andros Townsend scores Tottenham's third goal against AEL Limassol

    Leading 2-1 from the first leg, a much-changed Spurs side were always in control as Pochettino earned his fourth win since replacing Tim Sherwood.

    Travel 08:21:

    On the Overground, there's no service between Surrey Quays and New Cross due to planned improvements, while there are severe delays from Willesden Junction to Richmond. There's a good service on other routes.

    On the District Line, there is no service from Ealing Broadway to Acton Town eastbound due to a signal failure at Ealing Common. There is a good service on the rest of the line.

    Get up to date travel information on BBC London Travel News or on Twitter @BBCTravelAlert.

    Cool and breezy 08:10:

    It will be rather cool and breezy but mainly dry, with lengthy sunny periods during the morning.

    However, isolated showers are possible at times during the afternoon. Cloudier conditions will push in from the west, with an increasing chance of a little light rain at times. Highs of 20C (68F).

    08:00: Beth Rose BBC News Online

    Good morning, I'll be bringing you all the latest news, sport, travel and weather from London today for BBC Local Live.

    You can also send your news, pictures and comments to



  • A painting of the White House on fire by Tom FreemanFinders keepers

    The odd objects looted by the British from Washington in 1814

  • Chris and Regina Catrambone with their daughter Maria LuisaSOS

    The millionaires who rescue people at sea

  • groynes at ClactonRunning the rule

    Will Clacton's voters opt for UKIP over the Tories?

  • Plane7 days quiz

    What unusual offence got a Frenchman thrown off a plane?

Elsewhere on the BBC


  • ShanghaiThe Travel Show Watch

    From its high-speed trains trains to its luminescent skyscrapers - take a minute to discover Shanghai

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.