Anti-corruption police called in after elite Scotland Yard unit behind 'cash for honours' probe 'was targeted by private investigators seeking updates on high-profile cases' 

  • Specialist unit was repeatedly contacted by private firm, it is claimed
  • Workers were former police officers 'who spoke to former colleagues'
  • Firm was set up by lawyer who died in a mysterious 2004 helicopter crash  

A Met Police unit handling highly sensitive investigations was targeted by a private investigation firm seeking information, it was reported today.

Officers working for Scotland Yard's specialist crime unit - known as SCD6 - were reportedly courted by investigators working for a company called RISC management.

It is said the firm, run by retired Met Police detectives, contacted serving officers in a bid to get information about ongoing probes.

A Met Police unit was targeted by a group of private investigators looking for information about on-going probes, it was claimed this morning

A Met Police unit was targeted by a group of private investigators looking for information about on-going probes, it was claimed this morning

More than 300 phone calls were exchanged between RISC investigators and Met Police officers in one year, The Daily Telegraph reported this morning.

The allegations have led to fears that the 2007 investigation into the so-called 'cash for honours' scandal may have been compromised.

Police investigated alleged connections between donations to political parties and the award of life peerages, but no one was ever charged.

A report stated that an investigation launched at the time concerned the 'suspected leakage of information from the 'cash for honours' enquiry to an employee of RISC Management Limited that is based in London'.

The firm involved was set up by Stephen Curtis, who died in a mysterious helicopter crash in 2004

The firm involved was set up by Stephen Curtis, who died in a mysterious helicopter crash in 2004

It was claimed today that RISC received a tip-off about three people who it was believed would and would not be charged.

The claims were investigated by another wing of the Met Police, the Yard's Intelligence Development Group, which looks into corruption allegations.

RISC, originally called ISC Global, was set up in 2000 by Stephen Curtis, a lawyer who worked with Russian oligarchs who came to Britain after getting on the wrong side of Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Mr Curtis died in a mysterious helicopter crash near Bournemouth Airport in 2004, becoming the sixth member of a so-called 'ring of death' of businessmen who died in odd circumstances.

Just a week before he died, Mr Curtis, 45, told a friend: 'If anything happens to me in the next few weeks, it will not be an accident.'

Keith Hunter, former chief executive of RISC, told the Daily Telegraph it was 'ridiculous' to suggest that RISC could 'be viewed as a risk to national security or the Met'.

The Met Police is yet to comment on the claims.

 

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