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."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
tvBut Bianca Miller has taken on board his comments over pricing
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
News
newsAstonishing moment a kangaroo takes down a drone
Arts and Entertainment
The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit director Peter Jackson with his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
film
Life and Style
tech
News
people
News
Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
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

Recruitment Genius: EWI / IWI Installer

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of design...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Chessington

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Service Desk Analyst - Chessington, Surrey...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Support Analyst / Helpdesk Support Analyst

£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is the UK's leading ...

The Jenrick Group: Finance Manager/Management Accountant

£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: The Jenrick Group: Finance Manager/Manag...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'