Victims' fury over 'corrupt Flying Squad kidnap plot'
The victims of an alleged police kidnap and robbery plot have spoken of their outrage and now intend to sue the Met.
In the mid-90s, criminals kidnapped the partner of a cash-van driver and forced him to fill a suitcase with £50,000 to secure her release.
Secret reports obtained by the BBC claim corrupt Flying Squad officers sent to investigate planned to repeat the crime - on the same two victims.
The Met says it will now contact both victims.
The details of the suspected conspiracy come from copies of two intelligence reports sources say were shredded by the Met in 2002.
But the two victims were unaware of the alleged plot until they were contacted by the BBC - almost 20 years on.
The driver, John, whose surname is being withheld for legal reasons, remembered an officer named in the reports.
He said: "He was very friendly, which made me feel relaxed. They were getting personal on what time I leave in the morning.
"But because they are police officers you believe them to be concerned about you."
He went on: "Seeing the names now just rakes you. You can't trust people."
John continued: "I would have wanted to know the lot. Was I put under threat? Was in danger? The Met should have told me. I have been failed by the police."
The female victim, who asked not to be named, was traced to west Africa where she now lives.
She said: "I was horrified when I was told. I felt sick and had to sit down.
"I can't get it through my head that somebody could be so evil to do such a thing after what John and I had gone through.
"Some people will do anything for money."
The victim continued: "Those officers were making out that they were helping us - it's just incredible that police we trusted could behave like this."
Recalling the allegedly corrupt officers, she said: "It was as if the police were trying to accuse John of being part of it. They took all his property and clothes - it was horrendous."
The initial kidnap was so traumatic that for a long time she refused to leave her house.
She has since separated from John, saying the ordeal contributed to the break-up.
The alleged plot included the duplication of a distinctive ring at a jewellers, which was to be shown to the driver to convince him his partner had again been taken prisoner.
The victim still wears the ring.
She added: "I intend to sue the Metropolitan Police. As far as I'm concerned it's negligence."
Former commander of the Flying Squad Roy Ram, now retired, said of the alleged conspiracy: "What's extraordinary is that this is not police officers stealing the proceeds of somebody else's criminal act.
"If this is true, this is police officers conspiring to commit a really serious criminal offence themselves - the kind of offence the rest of their colleagues were fighting hard against.
"I have never heard of anything audacious as this. I have never seen anything where police officers were producing material that would help them, such as this ring."
He described the suspected conspiracy as a "betrayal" of the Flying Squad.
A Met spokesman said: "The Met's anti-corruption team investigated an alleged plot to carry out a robbery which involved corrupt police officers.
"The intelligence was thoroughly investigated and a decision made to disrupt the attempted robbery by ensuring those involved became aware police were following them."
He continued: "It must be deeply disturbing to hear from the media, nearly 20 years on, that you were the intended target of a kidnap plot that was disrupted by police.
"Taking legal action is a decision for the individuals concerned, however we will seek to contact them to discuss the matter.
"If this were to happen today, we would consider working to inform people when they are at threat from criminals if it is appropriate."
The intelligence reports came to light 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.
The force is understood to have found one of the reports backed up on computer.