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More of the 'abuse of authority' incidents? Elite detectives?


LONDON - More than 300 elite Scotland Yard detectives are suspected of defrauding the taxpayer of millions of pounds by abusing their corporate credit cards.

Auditors who examined the American Express accounts of 3,500 officers involved in countering terrorism and organised crime reported almost one in 11 detectives to the Metropolitan Police's internal investigators.

A senior officer appeared to have spent £40,000 ($95,500) on his Amex card in one year, without authorisation. Items bought by others without permission include suits, women's clothing and fishing rods.

The scale of the suspected fraud, disclosed in an internal Metropolitan Police Authority report, will send shock waves through the force. Until now, the investigation into expenses fraud was thought to have focused on fewer than 40 officers.

It comes days after the potentially damaging disclosure of six officers facing investigation over claims that a drug suspect's head was forced into a lavatory which was flushed repeatedly.

The Amex cards were issued in 2006 to detectives from specialist operations, which includes those involved in diplomatic and royalty protection.

The use of Amex cards was halted in December 2007. A number of officers have already been arrested in connection with the investigation by the Directorate of Professional Standards. THE GUARDIAN

From TODAY, World –Monday, 15-Jun-2009

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