Continuing on with the thread of corruption in the British Police, which of course does not happen and anybody who thinks so is part of "The Left", today I feature two cases. The first was the downfall of a high flying "whizzkid" and the jailing of some of his subordinates. This was Detective Chief Inspector Vic Kelaher, head of the Metropolitan Drugs Squad. A long running bout of animosity between cops and Customs, because Customs believed cops could not be trusted - what about themselves!!! - and a devastating shot across the bows when they raided a flat. This was in December 1970, when Customs raided a flat in Holland Park, in London. To their surprise, they discovered none other than DCI Kelaher with a prostitute. Her former husband was a diplomat from Ghana, whom had been arrested three years earlier by Kelaher, importing drugs. But this was far from the start of troubles for Kelaher.
Earlier in 1970, two Arabs had arrived in London, looking for a buyer of two kilos of heroin. They became friendly with a hustler and pimp from the Bahamas called Basil Sands. Sands was also very friendly with Kelaher. Over time, Kelaher and two of his men, had meetings with the Arabs, hoping to locate a buyer. But the Arabs left the country and returned home. Sands had a drug mule set up, a woman, but the Arabs decided to send a parcel of cannabis, which, as luck would have it, arrived in the middle of a postal dispute. Sands made an enquiry with the airline to see if it had arrived, but he was not to know that Customs were taping his call. The parcel was duly delivered, minus the drugs, with Customs keeping a careful watch, and arrested Sands and his friends at a hotel owned by a friend of the prostitute, arrested with Kelaher. Kelaher himself was arrested later when he showed up at the hotel in Earls Court. The hotel was decided on by both Sands and Kelaher. He refused to answer any questions - It is different when villains adopt the same attitude isn`t it? - and was released.
You could say that the shit had truly hit the fan, with calls for the prosecution of Kelaher and an independent inquiry into the Drugs Squad. Not surprisingly, both were resisted by Scotland Yard - nothing to hide was there! - and he was put behind a desk at another station. Sands went on trial for drug importation and was jailed for seven years. Sands maintained he was an informant for Kelaher, who gave evidence on his behalf, along with three of his men, Prichard, Lilley and the notorious Pilcher. Sands was jailed for seven years. Then came the prosecution of the cops. Kelaher was allowed to resign on medical grounds but his men went down. Prichard for four years, Pilcher & Lilley for eighteen months, for perjury. Pilcher was notorious because his speciality was busting rock stars. Donovan, Jagger, Jones, Lennon, Harrison. All happened to be in possession of drugs when Pilcher and his boys burst in. One claim was that they always went in prepared. In other words, they had drugs ready to plant on the arrestee if none were found.
The second case involved two ranking officers having a fight in a pub. It started in the Albion pub in Ludgate Circus in 1980. It was a nice place where corrupt dealings between cops and criminals were thrashed out. The two men were Detective Superintendent John Keane and Detective inspector Bernard Gent. The fight broke out when Keane discovered that Gent had a recording device on him and had taped him offering £10,000 if he could "lose" some vital evidence against a villain facing armed robbery. Gent finally managed to restrain Keane until back-up arrived and the recording was enough to earn Keane a three year stretch amongst the very people he was supposed to be catching for the protection of society.