Six held in NI in connection with suspected corruption ring

Police officer and former policeman among those questioned by serious crime detectives

Tue, Jun 17, 2014, 20:27

Six men, including a serving PSNI officer and a former officer, have been arrested for questioning over alleged bribery involving the awarding of lucrative police contracts.

The six are being held by officers from the PSNI’s serious crime branch at Antrim police station on suspicion of a range of offences including bribery, misconduct in public office and procuring misconduct in public office.

The serving PSNI officer (48) and the 54-year-old former officer were detained along with a 67-year-old civilian and a 37-year-old member of the PSNI cicivilian staff. They were arrested following an operation in three counties – Antrim, Down and Tyrone.

The two others, aged 54 and 34, were detained in England and brought to Antrim.

A PSNI spokesman said a series of searches have also been carried out on business and private residential addresses and a number of items have been seized as part of the investigation.

“The police service expects its officers and staff to behave professionally, ethically and with the utmost integrity at all times,” the spokesman said. “Any conduct which brings or is likely to bring discredit on the service will be investigated to establish whether or not a breach of the code of ethics has occurred. This may, as a result, lead to a criminal investigation.”

The Policing Board, which oversees the PSNI, said it would seek a meeting with chief constable Matt Baggott about the arrests.

“The board has been informed of an ongoing PSNI investigation into the awarding of a number of PSNI vehicle contracts,” it said in a statement. “This is a matter of very serious concern and the Board will be seeking an urgent update from the Chief Constable on the progress of the investigation.”