EXCLUSIVE: 'I'm not Corrupt' Property tycoon David Hunt dismisses secret Met Police repo
Dismissed: David Hunt has denied any involvement ever in organised crime or police corruption (PA)
MULTI-millionaire property owner David Hunt has insisted he has never been involved in police corruption or organised crime after a secret Met Police report that branded him a top gangster was leaked online. The Operation Tiberius report was produced in 2002 to summarise the results of an extensive anti-corruption probe that looked at organised crime networks that were suspected of using corrupt police officers to gain information so they could compromise investigations into themselves. The Tiberius operation was carried out after seasoned detectives complained that it had become impossible to run a proper murder inquiry in east and north-east London because of the level of corruption and interference by criminals. It focussed on eight major crime syndicates said to be involved in "drug trafficking, extortion, money laundering and robbery," including the notorious Adams Family gang from north London and one run by late "Brinks Mat" gangster John Palmer. It also identified more than 40 named current and former detectives who were believed to be aiding the high-ranking criminals.
MURDERED: There is a section on the crime gang run by the late John Palmer in Operation Tiberius (PA)
Tiberius was largely based on police intelligence from informants and other sources such as surveillance, undercover operations and covert recordings or phone interceptions. Most of the intelligence allegations made in the report have never been tested in court. This year the report, already seen by this website, was leaked on to the internet. It placed the names of the suspected police officers and the criminals said to be running the networks into the public domain. Some suspected criminals were even outed as registered police informants in Tiberius. One of the networks was called the "Hunt Syndicate" by Tiberius investigators and a section on the gang detailed how it was suspected of using three former senior detectives and one who was still serving at the time to keep one step ahead of police by being tipped off about investigations into it. Five men were named in Tiberius as running the Hunt Syndicate, with businessman David Hunt, 58, from Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, said to be at the top.
Mr Hunt has a large property portfolio across London and further afield, including flats, pubs and restaurants.
REPORT: Section in Tiberius on the 'Hunt Syndicate' (Met Police)
Of the "Hunt Syndicate" Tiberius said: "The Hunt Syndicate is one of the most violent groups in North East London and has been responsible for a series of vicious assaults against debtors and rivals. "Substantial source sensitive intelligence is held detailing the information supplied to the syndicate via (names removed), both of whom were handled or controlled by the officers detailed above. "(Name removed) is the main source of their information and since his recent retirement he will undoubtedly maintain links with serving officers, changing from the corrupted role to that of a conduit." So the report said that named detectives or former ones helping the syndicate handled members of the gang as registered informants. The report said the syndicate had emerged from a scrap metal business. It added: "This 'legitimate' business enterprise provides a front for their criminal activities. "The Hunt syndicate has developed an extensive criminal empire, which so far has evaded significant penetration from law enforcement. "The syndicate has achieved this invulnerability through a mixture of utilising corrupt police contacts and the intimidation of witnesses brave enough to give evidence against them." Tiberius detailed a number of covert operations looking at the syndicate which were said to have obtained intelligence and recordings of suspected corruption. In one case it recounted a one-sided phone conversation said to be between Mr Hunt and another gang member who was an informant who told him his "police contact" had said "Hunt was being looked at by police" as was a "loan he had taken out." In 1999, during the same investigation, called Operation Blackjack, a retired detective who had become a council bailiff turned up at the car dealers that had been bugged by police, which Mr Hunt was the landlord of. The former officer was heard on the phone agreeing to find out if the syndicate was under police investigation. The former detective was found aiding a number of other people during the operation and later charged with perverting the course of justice but was acquitted at Snaresbrook Crown Court. In July 2013 Mr Hunt was described by Lord Justice Peregrine Simon as the "head of an organised crime network implicated in extreme violence and fraud" across London and the Home Counties in the judgement of a libel trial he lost against The Sunday Times. He sued over a 2010 report which said he was the head of an organisation involved in murder, drug trafficking and fraud. However, Judge Simon said the newspaper had been unable to substantiate ay involvement in drugs or murders.
JUDGEMENT: Judge Peregrine Simon (Trinity Hall Cambridge)
Mr Hunt continues to deny any involvement in organised crime and says he is just a successful property tycoon. And, it is understood he has not been arrested in connection with any of the claims made in Tiberius since the report was compiled. He previously told a Panorama documentary looking at police corruption that he could not comment on the contents of Operation Tiberius as he had never seen it. However, we alerted his solicitor to that fact it had been leaked online and he is now understood to have viewed relevant sections of the report. Although, there was a six-page section of the report dedicated to the "Hunt Syndicate" which names him a number of times, Mr Hunt said he was "hardly mentioned." His lawyer Matthew Jenkins said in an email: "Mr Hunt comments as follows: "The Operation Tiberius report contains hardly any mention of Mr Hunt and such mention as there is provides no basis for any suggestion that he has ever been involved in any police corruption. "Mr Hunt has never been arrested for or questioned about any alleged police corruption. "Moreover, Mr Hunt gave evidence under oath at his trial against the Times that he had never corrupted any police. "Following a substantial and wide ranging investigation by the Times, including several third party disclosure applications against the police, Mr Hunt’s evidence in this regard was unchallenged. "The Times’s defence of justification failed." However, we asked mr Hunt a number of questions which went unanswered.
NO COMMENT: Terry Adams would not be drawn on Tiberius
These included asking how he felt about the fact police intelligence claims of serious criminal activity against him had been put into the public domain; whether the Met Police should take action to remove the document and why, as a legitimate businessman, he thought the police had such high interest in his activities. We also asked if he ever associated with any of the police and former police officers named in the report. There is a section in Tiberius making serious allegations about the Adams Family, including linking it to unsolved murders. Similar questions about Tiberius were also sent to Terry Adams through his solicitor Stephen Gilchrist, however, he chose not to respond. The Tiberius report recommended a series of actions for the Met Police to take to try to clamp down on organised crime and associated corruption, but it is understood few of them were ever carried out and the force refuses to discuss its contents.