16 February 2009

Cops 'took tens of thousands in bribes'

Facing financial hardship, a Sydney police detective bought into a corruption scheme offered by a colleague which netted the pair tens of thousands of dollars, a commission has heard.

The NSW Police Integrity Commission (PIC) launched a public hearing on Monday into the alleged corrupt conduct of two Liverpool-based detectives, Senior Constable Nasser Battal and a second man codenamed "LP1".

Giving evidence before Commissioner John Pritchard, LP1 said Battal approached him in early 2008 in the car park of Liverpool City Council, suggesting a scheme which would mean approaching local tobacconists who were trying to sell illegal products.

LP1 said he agreed to the scheme after considering his "very bad" financial situation.

"I couldn't live on what I was actually earning," he told the hearing.

The inquiry would investigate a number of incidents which allegedly occurred in 2008, counsel assisting the commission David Staehli SC said.

In the first matter, LP1 recalled going to a tobacconist at Merrylands with Battal in a police vehicle, while the pair were on duty.

Dressed in plain clothes but carrying a firearm, the detectives found illegal, loose tobacco at the shop which they seized, packing it into a police car, LP1 said.

"Part of Nasser's plan was to explain that we would tell them that the tax department would be informed that they had been selling illegal tobacco without (paying) tax and Customs and other people might be interested as well as the business falsifying its operations," LP1 told the hearing.

"After it was explained to the shop owner that all these other authorities may be interested ... the shop owner then knew that it was heading towards a monetary value being paid towards us in order for these other authorities ... to be taken away."

The pair returned to the business the next day and were paid $10,000 cash in $50 notes, and also sold the seized tobacco, for which LP1 said he was later paid $1,000.

Similar incidents followed at businesses in surrounding suburbs, with the pair paid up to $40,000 cash for not putting "investigations on the police computer".

A nervous LP1 said he could not remember the exact amounts paid but that he had been "haunted" by the process, knowing he was being unethical.

"I was still haunted ... one side of me said it was not okay to take the money and the other side said it was okay," he said.

Liverpool police station and LP1's home were raided by the PIC on January 28.

The detective, who joined the NSW Police Force in 2001 and remains a serving officer, continues to give evidence at the commission.

ninemsn 16 Feb 2009

Nothing new here, it just a small portion of stories that make it out, i.e. into the Court Justice system.

Victoria Police, specifically in Werribee, have been involved in a stolen car racket which has not been made public

Members from Victoria Police have taken large amounts of cash from drug dealers, (AUD$30,000) at one time in order not to process the confiscated drugs, later selling them.

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