Revealed: How gangs used the Freemasons to corrupt police

Gangsters able to recruit police officers through secret society, says investigation for Scotland Yard

Investigations Reporter

Secret networks of Freemasons have been used by organised crime gangs to corrupt the criminal justice system, according to a bombshell Metropolitan Police report leaked to The Independent.

Operation Tiberius, written in 2002, found underworld syndicates used their contacts in the controversial brotherhood to “recruit corrupted officers” inside Scotland Yard, and concluded it was one of “the most difficult aspects of organised crime corruption to proof against”.

The report – marked “Secret” – found serving officers in East Ham east London who were members of the Freemasons attempted to find out which detectives were suspected of links to organised crime from other police sources who were also members of the society.

Famous for its secret handshakes, Freemasonry has long been suspected of having members who work in the criminal justice system – notably the judiciary and the police.

The political establishment and much of the media often dismiss such ideas as the work of conspiracy theorists. However, Operation Tiberius is the second secret police report revealed by The Independent in the last six months to highlight the possible issue.

Project Riverside, a 2008 report on the rogue private investigations industry by the Serious Organised Crime Agency, also claimed criminals attempt to corrupt police officers through Freemason members in a bid to further their interests.

Concerns over the influence of freemasons on the criminal justice system in 1998 led former Home Secretary Jack Straw to order that all police officers and judges should declare membership of the organisation.

However, ten of Britain’s 43 police forces refused to take part and the policy was dropped under threat of legal action.  In England and Wales, the Grand Master of the Freemasons is Prince Edward, Duke of Kent. The United Grand Lodge of England declined to comment last night.

The Independent revealed last week that Operation Tiberius found that organised crime syndicates such as the Adams family and the gang led by David Hunt were able to infiltrate the Met “at will”.

Asked to comment on the Tiberius report, a spokesman for Scotland Yard said: “The Metropolitan Police Service will not tolerate any behaviour by our officers and staff which could damage the trust placed in police by the public.

“We are determined to pursue corruption in all its forms and with all possible vigour.”

Read more

Police failed to address Met's ‘endemic corruption’
UK’s key institutions infiltrated by criminals
Case studies: Operation Tiberius uncovers corruption in the Met

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk