Feeds

Corrupt cop abused police database to blackmail child abusers

Gets six years for ill-advised operation

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

A London policeman who attempted to blackmail sex offenders and drug dealers has been jailed for six years.

PC Amerdeep Singh Johal, 29, was arrested by anti-corruption cops from Scotland Yard in July 2007. Johal was employed in checking names and address on the police database, called Crimint, on behalf of beat cops.

He abused the role to contact 11 convicted offenders and threaten to spill the beans on their crimes unless he was given "hush money". Johal requested between £29,000 and £31,000 for his silence, threatening to tell work colleagues or neighbours of convicted sex offenders about their crimes. In one instance Johal demanded £89,000 as a "goodwill gesture".

He also used Crimint to research drug dealers, including a member of a group rejoicing in the title The League of Four English Gentlemen.

The extortion racket unravelled after one of Johal's victims reported him to the police. Scotland Yard used an undercover officer to pose as a blackmail victim and offer to pay him £5,000.

Johal, of Ilford, texted a friend called Chatham Charlie looking for tips in how to invest the money. Johal's lawyers argued that their client was himself a victim of two extortionists, acting for a kidnapper called Baljit Bhandal.

Police failed to unearth independent sightings of the pair or the Bentley they supposedly drove, nor any supporting evidence. Nor, did Johal even tell his wife about the pressure he was supposedly under.

These arguments failed to convince the jury, who turned in a guilty verdict against Johal. An Old Bailey clerk confirmed Johal had been sentenced to six years' imprisonment for blackmail. He was also ordered to pay £32,000 in compensation.

The case has raised wider concerns about the misuse of police databases, which the Metropolitan police is keen to downplay.

A Scotland Yard spokesman told the BBC: "There are strict guidelines in place regarding the use of intelligence databases and if anyone abuses it that is taken extremely seriously." ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
Apple grapple: Congress kills FBI's Cupertino crypto kybosh plan
Encryption would lead us all into a 'dark place', claim G-Men
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.