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



22 °C 13 °C

BBC Local Live

    Man admits attack on Galloway 12:10:

    A man has admitted beating George Galloway, the Respect MP for Bradford West, last month but denied the attack was religiously aggravated.

    Neil Masterson, 39, of Kensington, west London, also admitted assaulting another man, Mostafa Maroof on the same day as the MP. He was remanded to stand trial on 10 November by Isleworth Crown Court.

    George Galloway This picture, released by Respect via Twitter, was taken before George Galloway went to hospital

    The MP was attacked on 29 August while posing for pictures in Golborne Road in Notting Hill.

    Robert Elms show 12:00: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    In a few minutes author Will Self talks to Robert Elms about his new book Shark, which is based on what is believed to be the largest recorded shark attack in which 200 people were killed when a ship delivering fissile material for the Hiroshima bomb sank.

    And singer Loretta Heywood will play for us this afternoon from her latest album The Boy Across the Road.

    News on the hour 11:55:

    Our top local news story on BBC London 94.9 in the midday bulletin:

    A man from Kensington has admitted assaulting the Respect MP George Galloway - but denied that the attack was religiously aggravated.

    LU resignation 11:45: Tom Edwards Transport correspondent, London

    tweets: Reports Phil Hufton has left London Underground. He's the man trying to drive through ticket office closures. No official confirmation.

    Flats plan to generate £3.5bn 11:36:

    Transport for London said it hoped the "radical new plans" for the Tube HQ would generate up to £3.5bn which would be reinvested in the transport network.

    TfL headquarters

    The building was designed by Charles Holden between 1927 and 1929 for the forerunner of London Underground.

    It was considerably damaged by bombing raids during World War Two.

    Homes at Tube HQ? 11:29:

    London Underground's historic, Grade I listed headquarters in Westminster could be turned into affordable and privates homes.

    The building at 55 Broadway was built for the Underground Electric Railways Company of London, and is currently used as office space.

    The plans, including 22% affordable homes, will be displayed from tomorrow until Friday at St James's Park station and submitted next month.

    Teen arrested over puppy dunking 11:19:

    A 16-year-old has been arrested after a boy was filmed dunking a puppy into a bucket of water as part of a charity ice bucket challenge, This Is Local London reports.

    The teenager, who cannot be named, was arrested on 3 September from an address in Edmonton, north London, on suspicion of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

    DIY care warning 11:09:

    London Fire Brigade has warned home improvers to take more care of fire safety when embarking on DIY.

    Fire engine

    It said three people had died and 36 had been injured in the last three years in London fires where fire doors have been replaced, left open or incorrectly fitted.

    News on the hour 10:57:

    Top local news on BBC London 94.9:

    • Police are investigating a stabbing in Mitcham which has left a man in his 20s in a critical condition.
    • Govia has taken over the UK's largest rail franchise this morning - comprising the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern, but passengers say they are still experiencing the same old delays.
    Feedback 10:51:

    We've introduced BBC Local Live to bring you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place. Tell us what you think.

    VIDEO: London - a retirement nirvana? 10:38:

    BBC Inside Out's Joanne Good discovers why many pensioners are choosing London as the best place to retire.


    A survey by Britain Thinks reveals many pensioners are choosing London because of its excellent public transport, vibrant cultural scene and excellent access to health care.

    Inside Out spoke to two pensioners who believe that London is "retirement nirvana". Watch the full report on BBC One tonight at 19:30.

    Unions to protest 10:24:

    Rail unions RMT and Aslef are planning to hold a protest at Blackfriars station later on the awarding of the mega franchise to Govia.

    RMT acting general secretary Mick Cash said: "Monday's protest marks the beginning of a rolling campaign opposing the new franchise's proposals for driver-only operation and the sacking and reducing of the role of train guards and conductors, station de-staffing and the closure of ticket offices."

    'No underestimating the challenge' 10:15:

    The mega franchise, a joint venture between transport company Go-Ahead and French company Keolis, will have 6,500 staff and generate annual passenger revenues of around £1.3bn.

    It has promised to invest £430m over seven years, including new trains, more services and better connections. Govia Thameslink Railway chief executive Charles Horton said: "There's no underestimating the challenge of the task ahead.

    New mega franchise 10:10:

    Govia has begun running services on the UK's biggest franchise, comprising the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern (TSGN), which clock up 273 million passenger journeys a year.

    Mock-up of new Thameslink train The new franchise will see 273 million passenger journeys a year

    The company is operating Thameslink and Great Northern services, including the routes run by First Capital Connect. Some stations and services run by the Southeastern will be incorporated in December, with Southern and Gatwick Express routes joining in July 2015.

    News on the hour 09:59:

    BBC London 94.9's top local story this hour:

    London Mayor Boris Johnson tells the BBC he thinks sending British ground troops to take on Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria is "off the table for the foreseeable".

    The Conservative MP for Beckenham Colonel Bob Stewart, a former UN commander, told BBC London 94.9 the Islamic world, not the UK, should take the lead in any military action.

    Victoria line delays 09:48: Andy Dangerfield BBC News Online

    The entrance to the Highbury and Islington station in north London was shut for a time this morning due to severe overcrowding after a signal failure at Brixton led to Victoria line services being disrupted.

    Highbury and Islington station
    Terry 'never apologised' 09:37:

    Rio Ferdinand says John Terry has never personally apologised to him or his brother Anton over the racist abuse row in a Premier League game in 2011 between Chelsea and QPR.

    Quoted in the Sun, Rio Ferdinand said he no longer talks to Terry. Terry was acquitted of charges of racial abuse following a trial in July 2012, but was later banned for four matches and fined £220,000 by the FA.

    Franchise change 09:30: Tom Edwards Transport correspondent, London

    tweets: Franchise change as Govia takes over Thameslink Southern Great Northern mega franchise - tech yet to catch up.

    Station board app
    Mitcham stabbing 09:18:

    A man in his 20s is in a critical condition in hospital after being stabbed in Mitcham, south London, in the early hours.

    Police were called to Cedars Avenue at about 02:15 this morning where they found the victim. No arrests have been made over the stabbing.

    New cardiac unit 09:12:

    A new state-of-the-art cardiac unit, with three MRI scanners, opens to outpatients at Barts Hospital later today.

    From next spring, it will start taking inpatients and will be one of the biggest heart centres in Europe serving patients from across north and east London, Hertfordshire and Essex.

    Brewer fails Heineken take-over 09:02:

    Dutch brewing giant Heineken has rejected a takeover offer from London brewer SABMiller saying the proposal is "non-actionable".

    Heineken beer

    The Heineken family, the founding family which still owns half of the firm, said it wanted to preserve the firm as "an independent company" and was confident it would continue to grow.

    News on the hour 08:55:

    Our top London news story BBC London 94.9 this hour:

    A man in his 20s is in a critical condition in hospital after he was stabbed in Cedars Avenue in Mitcham overnight. No-one has been arrested.

    Tube delays 08:42:

    There is no service on the Central line between White City to Ealing Broadway and West Ruislip due to a signal failure at North Acton. There are severe delays on the rest of the line.

    On the Victoria line, there are severe delays because of a signal failure at Brixton. And there are delays of up to 20 minutes between Norwood Junction and London Bridge until at least 10:00.

    Top headlines
    Tackling Islamic State militants 08:38: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    On Vanessa Feltz show from 09:00: the Foreign Secretary's joining counterparts from around the world to discuss how best to tackle Islamic State militants.

    Boris Johnson's used his column in the Daily Telegraph this morning to say Britain can't simply sit back and do nothing.

    Police crime scene warning 08:33:

    Merton Police tweets: Police incident in Cedars Avenue, Mitcham this morning. Large crime scene. Please avoid the area as road is currently closed at both ends

    Invictus Games conclude 08:23:

    The Queen has told competitors in the inaugural Invictus Games she was "deeply moved by your courage, determination and talent".

    Road cycling at the Games

    Wounded servicemen and women from 13 countries took part in the inaugural games at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, east London.

    M25 delays 08:16: Louise Pepper Journalist, BBC London

    On the M25 two lanes are closed clockwise between Clacket Lane services and J6 Godstone following a collision which is causing delays of about 90 minutes.

    And the M1 is closed northbound between J11 Dunstable and J12 Flitwick due to an overturned car.

    Mist and drizzle 08:05: Kate Kinsella BBC Weather, London

    A rather dull start with some mist and drizzle but it will improve. The cloud will break and we'll see some sunny spells. Potentially one or two showers this afternoon. Reasonably warm with a maximum of 22C (72F).

    08:00: Debabani Majumdar BBC London News

    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



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.