John Palmer: underworld blamed for murder as corrupt police escape
It turns out that police have a blind-eye approach to blind justice. The Times reports on the death of villain John Palmer, whose murder by “several” bullets police initially mistook for death by natural causes. It was only after he’d been dead for six days that police noticed the criminal had been shot dead.
Palmer, who is believed to have smelted the gold from the £26 million Brink’s Mat robbery, was secretly described by the Yard’s anti-corruption command as one of the highest-ranking gangsters in the British underworld. His killing with a small-calibre weapon in the garden of his country house near Brentwood in Essex has led to speculation about which of his many lawless contacts around the world ordered the hit.
But his killing might have something to do with the overworld:
Palmer was protected for years by half a dozen corrupt officers, according to The Sunday Times which has seen Operation Tiberius, a confidential police report describing corruption in the Metropolitan Police…
Palmer ran an organisation “able to infiltrate the [police] at will in northeast and east London,” it said. “Existing murder investigations have been compromised and sensitive intelligence has leaked from other organised crime investigations.”
“We are not prepared to discuss publicly the details of Operation Tiberius. This is not about refusing to be transparent but protecting life.”
Phew! So long as they don’t anyone in danger then it’s fine they allegedly colluded with violent criminals.
The Mail adds:
John ‘Goldfinger’ Palmer was being protected by a group of six corrupt Metropolitan Police officers who were feeding him information on criminal investigations and rival gangs, it has emerged…
Speculation arose his death had been ordered by underworld figures who feared he was being primed to inform on other criminals. Palmer was said to be ‘on the verge’ of helping police in ongoing investigations in exchange for having his looming 15 year jail term lifted.
And with that the dead criminal becomes an obvious taget. But was he helping police? We don’t know. But as a post-mortem story it produces a neat narrative.
One source said the terms of his bail suggested his role as a potential informant for British authorities, telling The Sunday Times he otherwise would not have been allowed to leave Spain.
‘That alone would indicate that Palmer was, or was on the verge of, assisting law enforcement,’ they said.
But what facts are there? the Sunday Times began its scoop by reporting:
THE crime boss John “Goldfinger” Palmer who was shot dead last month may have been killed because the underworld suspected he was co-operating with police to avoid 15 years in a Spanish jail.
Other organised crime lords are believed to have become nervous when Palmer was charged with fraud, firearms possession and money laundering by Spanish prosecutors in May.
An organised criminal from Essex with underworld connections said: “The people over here feared Palmer was going to turn Queen’s evidence to lighten his sentence so they got him out of the way.”
One minute we’re being told of police links to criminals. The next a criminal is telling us that other criminals shot the master criminals because he might have become a grass – a legend that surely would involve him revealing the names of any corrupt officers.
Property investor Donald Urquhart was also involved in plans to launder the Brink’s-Mat proceeds. It proved a bad investment. He was shot dead in a central London street, in January 1993.
The motorcycle rider who shot him was paid £20,000, a court was later told.
Former police officer Sidney Wink was the man suspected of supplying the weapon that killed Urquhart as well as the weapons used to carry out the Heathrow robbery itself. When detectives visited his Essex home in August 1994 to question him they found him dead. An inquest heard he had committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.
Already the usual north London suspects are being suggested as those who did the deed, and the queue of people with good reason to do damage to Palmer would have gone all the way down Sandpit Lane and on to the A12. “But this was nothing to do with people who’d been ripped off on timeshares,” said one associate. “This was a lot heavier. It was a hitman and it will be an unsolved crime.”
The plot thickens.