Saturday 12 November 2011

Britain's FBI 'abandoned chasing crime Mr Bigs because it's too difficult'


The elite unit set up by Labour to fight major criminals has failed to catch crime bosses because it is ‘too difficult’ and may even have been infiltrated by the underworld, says a whistleblower. The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) is supposed to be Britain’s answer to the FBI. When it was launched, Tony Blair pledged the organisation would ‘make life hell’ for the country’s ‘Mr Bigs’. It recruited from the cream of the police, immigration, customs and MI5 and had more than 4,000 staff in offices all over the world.  But Tim Lee, a former intelligence officer with SOCA, claims the agency has been blighted by corruption and bureaucracy. Mr Lee, 58, who joined SOCA in Nottingham when it was formed in 2006, paints a damning picture of his five years in the organisation. He claims: An investigation into a crime boss was mysteriously dropped when a SOCA officer with alleged links to the suspect took over the running of the case. Allegations of serious sexual misconduct made by a female SOCA worker against a male colleague were covered up. Hostility arose between police, customs and immigration officers when operational units were first formed in 2006.