SOCA identifies blue-chip firms who use corrupt private investigators

The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) has named financial institutions Deloitte, Credit Suisse and Chase Manhattan as among six companies who used corrupt private investigators for illegally acquiring information or blagging.

Nine other additional firms were included on the secret list given to a government committee. There are also a number of individuals and celebrities who have employed the private investigators for personal use. Jeremy Clarkson, of Top Gear, allegedly hired an investigator from a security company called Greymans, in order to expose a man who had apparently targeted a member of his family. The Mail on Sunday claimed Greymans employed one of the PIs to blag the man’s contact details, but there was no inclination that either Clarkson or Greyma knew the PI was corrupt. However ignorance of the Law has NEVER been an adequate defence and Clarkson is therefore guilty, by association, of engaging an Investigator to breach the DPA.

The Independent newspaper previously revealed that, in 2008, SOCA created a dossier detailing which companies hired corrupt PIs. all the investigators obtained information using illegal means such as phone hacking and bribing. The Home Affairs Select Committee received the 102-strong list, but stated it was confidential so as to protect the “financial viability of major organisations” in the event that they are “tainting them with public association with criminality”.

Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affair Select Committee, said yesterday that the committee would make a decision on whether to publish the list after it met on 3 September.

Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affair Select Committee, stated, “It is clear that for too long, companies have been hiring private investigators who compromise the privacy of individuals with apparent impunity. Regulators must take responsibility for what happens on their watch and issue guidelines immediately to ensure that companies do not hire private investigators who break the law, with or without their knowledge.”