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Knowing where the bodies are buried

Member: Nifa

News emerged this week that notorious gangster, John ‘Goldfinger’ Palmer, who was once described as Britain’s richest criminal, had been under surveillance for 16 years, even while in prison. Never far from complex financial deals, Palmer was due to stand trial in Spain on charges of fraud, money laundering and firearm possession at the time of his death, which was widely considered to have been a gangland hit.

The reason for the surveillance – and possibly the murder – was because he knew ‘where the bodies were buried’ and was thought to have been about to disclose certain information he had on other criminals to the police. Information of the quality he possessed would be extremely valuable to the police, not least because he could pinpoint which officers might have been corrupt and on other criminals’ payrolls.

During his own ‘career’, Palmer was often the subject of forensic investigation and in 1993 was the subject of an asset-freezing Mareva Injunction following his involvement with the Brink’s-Mat case, although he was subsequently acquitted. As part of the injunction, forensic accountants were allowed to track his “substantial financial resources”.

Then in 2002 he was handed a [then] record-breaking confiscation order of £36m, having been sentenced to eight years in prison for timeshare fraud, after a judge granted prosecutors power to conduct a forensic investigation of his assets. These forensic accountants are also expert at locating where the bodies are buried but in their case it is through the patient shifting of evidence and tracking money movements. However, other evidence is very useful and ideas about who had what assets and where, would be considered excellent leads.

Author: Roger Isaacs, 30 September 2016

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