‘Hatton Garden as crime incubator’ paper now published in journal. Lashmar and Hobbs.

Trends in Organized Crime

Volume 21, Issue 2pp 104–125Cite as

Diamonds, gold and crime displacement: Hatton Garden, and the evolution of organised crime in the UK

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Open Access

Abstract

The 2015 Hatton Garden Heist was described as the ‘largest burglary in English legal history’. However, the global attention that this spectacular crime attracted to ‘The Garden’ tended to concentrate upon the value of the stolen goods and the vintage of the burglars. What has been ignored is how the burglary shone a spotlight into Hatton Garden itself, as an area with a unique ‘upperworld’ commercial profile and skills cluster that we identify as an incubator and facilitator for organised crime. The Garden is the UK’s foremost jewellery production and retail centre and this paper seeks to explore how Hatton Garden’s businesses integrated with a fluid criminal population to transition, through hosting lucrative (and bureaucratically complex) VAT gold frauds from 1980 to the early 1990s, to become a major base for sophisticated acquisitive criminal activities. Based on extensive interviews over a thirty year period, evidence from a personal research archive and public records, this paper details a cultural community with a unique criminal profile due to the particularities of its geographical location, ethnic composition, trading culture, skills base and international connections. The processes and structures that facilitate criminal markets are largely under-researched (Antonopoulos et al. 2015: 11), and this paper considers how elements of Hatton Garden’s ‘upperworld’ businesses integrated with project criminals, displaced by policing strategies, to effect this transition.

Keywords

Hatton Garden Heist VAT fraud Gold fraud Armed robbery Drugs Free market Crime displacement Organised crime 

‘To deal was to live’ (Block 1991: 38)

MI6 planned to assassinate Nasser using nerve gas, according to Peter Wright.

On the question of using nerve gas for assassination I quote from Spycatcher (Wright 1987, 16). “At the beginning of the Suez Crisis, MI6 developed a plan through the London station, to assassinate Nasser using nerve gas. Eden (the PM)  initially gave his approval to the operation, but later rescinded it when he got agreement from the French and Israelis to engage in joint military action.” When that invasion failed the plan was resurrected but according to Peter Wright then failed ‘lamentably’.

PL has article on spies who worked at The Observer in new BJR revealing new names see “Nest of Spies”.

PL has a piece published in the latest British Journalism Review (BJR) on those from The Observer who worked as spies or acted as MI6 assets. It is a follow up  of my BJR piece from 2015 and is based on new material in Donald Trelford’s biographical account “Shouting in the Street” (Biteback 2017). He outs himself for helping MI6 as a young editor and then names some of former colleagues who had told him that they worked for MI6.  Trelford was the editor throughout my eleven years at the paper.

It can be found here for those with a subscription to BJR.

BJR

 

The EU strikes at heart of UK’s post-Brexit FS strategy

This a very important story in the Leave debacle. Post Brexit our financial services sector will need to further develop, because it will be dependent in part, on its ability to move dirty money through to being clean money via the network of offshores. But the EU is wise to this and this is part of the counterattack.

“The Taxe 3 inquiry marks a further threat from the EU to the UK’s network of offshore tax havens following the EU referendum. The terms of reference specifically promise that “particular attention shall be given to the crown dependencies and overseas territories”.

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/feb/08/paradise-papers-eu-parliament-votes-launch-tax-inquiry