Noye's tangled web of corruption

KENNETH Noye believed there was a price for everyone and he bought police officers and public officials to provide him with the protection he needed to mask his criminal activities.

KENNETH Noye believed there was a price for everyone and he bought police officers and public officials to provide him with the protection he needed to mask his criminal activities.

Detectives untangling his network of corruption now believe that at least one prominent MP was in his pay.

Such was the apprehension and nervousness created by the extent of Noye's corruption of the police that during the investigation into Stephen Cameron's murder officers were given around-the-clock protection from their colleagues. Others changed their telephone numbers. The Noye file on the case was restricted to less than a dozen senior officers.

With his lower-middle class background, Noye did not come from a traditional gangster family and he did not have the pathological hatred some felt for the police. From early in his criminal career he was prepared to do deals with officers, offering bribes and information on fellow villains.

Noye's big opportunity to fraternise with corrupt officers came when he was arrested by Scotland Yard in 1977 for receiving stolen goods.

The underworld was becoming wary of Noye. John 'Little Legs' Lloyd, a well known east London gangster, was warned about him by south London villains, others received similar messages.

In the late 70s Noye joined the Hammersmith Freeemasons' Lodge in west London. He was proposed and seconded by two police officers. He eventually rose to be the master of the lodge with the support of the membership of which the police made up a sizeable proportion. Other masons included dealers in gold and other precious metals. A little while later Noye was being helped out of an arrest by a detective who was a fellow mason.

One of Noye's police contacts was prepared to intervene on his behalf not just with fellow officers, but other law agencies. The detective approached a Customs officer investigating Noye in the early 80s and pressurised him to " lay off". The Customs man, at first surprised and then angry, warned that if the conversation went any further, he would have to officially report it.

When customs had arrested Noye, he was quick to offer information on fellow criminals engaged in cannabis smuggling. He also claimed that guns with major firepower were being imported into the country and offered to get a crate of Uzi sub machine guns. Customs passed the information on to the police but they refused to get involved on the curious grounds that they did not believe British criminals had access to automatic weapons.

But the police themselves were increasingly worried about Noye's connections. The Independent has seen documents which shows that Noye " has an association with an MP by the name of S---. They have been seen at Windsor Works ( a business owned by Noye) and it is alleged they have a business association."

The informer who providing the information, said the document, " further states that a Metropolitan Police officer was a frequent visitor to the Windsor Works and Noye took him abroad to the Continent."

The extent of police concern about Noye's connections was apparent when he became a prime suspect for the laundering of £26 million in bullion from the Brinks Mat robbery. While carrying out surveillance of Noye's home, an undercover officer, DC John Fordham, was stabbed to death by Noye.

Mr Fordham's partner, DC Neil Murphy, who was was present at the killing, told The Independent " There was enormous worry about leaks right from the start. I remember before the briefings took place the room was electronically swept for bugs - this, mind, a room in a top security police station. The name of a senior officer kept cropping up as someone being close to Noye.

"The other thing that stands out in my mind is how little we knew about Noye. This man was obviously a top level launderer, yet he had managed avoid much scrutiny. "

Noye was acquitted of DC Fordham's murder after pleading self-defence. But his contacts could not save him a 14 year sentence at a subsequent trial for laundering the bullion.

While in prison, Noye kept in touch with his police contacts and this paid off for his comeback in the crime business. While still a prisoner at a " halfway house", he became involved in a £50,000 deal to import cocaine from the US involving the Miami mafia.

The US Drug Enforcement Agency received intelligence about the plot, but a sting operation failed when Noye suddenly pulled out of the deal. He had been warned off by a corrupt detective on the National Crime Intelligence Service, John Donald, who had been corrupted by an associate of Noye's, Micky Lawson.

Donald eventually went to prison. Commander Roy Clark, one of his senior officers, said: " Donald was more than corrupt, he committed acts of treachery beyond belief. He sold operational secrets to those involved in organised crime and put the lives of police officers at risk."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
video
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Extras
indybest
News
Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been the teaching profession's favourite teacher
education
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
sport
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sport
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Sport
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL Report Analyst (SSRS, CA, SQL 2012)

£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...

Application Support Analyst (SQL, Incident Management, SLAs)

£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Embedded Software / Firmware Engineer

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...

Developer - WinForms, C#

£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform