A Birmingham police officer’s double life as a gangster, running brothels and dealing drugs, was uncovered after he drove a £170,000 Ferrari to work. Colleagues grew suspicious after he showed up in the car and investigated, uncovering brothels in London and evidence of misconduct.
Osman Iqbal, 37, was jailed for seven years in September for activities including running a brothel, conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to supply and money laundering. He was back in court again this week to face three misconduct charges, for which he pleaded guilty, the BBC has reported.
His crimes came to light when fellow officers at the Kings Health Police Station decided to investigate how he had managed to acquire the supercar. Their investigations uncovered bank accounts for two non-existent businesses: City Chauffeurs Ltd and Capital Event Management, used to launder “hundreds of thousands of pounds” from brothels in the Marylebone and Covent Garden districts of London.
The Serious and Organised Crime Unit was already investigating his cousin, convicted armed robber Talib Hussain who also had access to high end cars. In September 2012, police carried out simultaneous raids of the brothels and the homes of those suspected to be involved in their management. Officers in a met helicopter watched as another associate, Asri Hussein, tried to escape from the police by jumping onto the roof of a building, throwing away cocaine in the process, the Birmingham Mail reported.
Earlier reports indicate that Iqbal was charged with managing a brothel, money laundering and drugs crimes in September 2013, appearing in court to plead not guilty along with seven other defendants. An eighth, Jennifer Williams, admitted conspiracy to manage a brothel and conspiracy to supply drugs, according to the BBC .
The officers’ investigations also determined that Iqbal had attempted to access police intelligence systems at the behest of Nahiem Ajmal, 35, a Birmingham imam, who asked him to obtain information on behalf of a third man, Sajad Khan, also 35.
All three men appeared in court on Wednesday charged with misconduct in public office. All three were convicted, and will be sentenced in February The court appearance lifted restrictions on reporting the earlier convictions, allowing the full scope of Iqbal’s crimes to be reported.
Chief Inspector Martin Brennan, from West Midlands Police’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said: “This was a highly-organised and well-orchestrated criminal network but what makes it particularly reprehensible is that fact a serving police officer was at the centre of it all.
“Iqbal and his associates generated their income by running ‘exclusive’ brothels and peddling Class A drugs. For them, it was all about the money and the fast cars and they didn’t care who they were exploiting and what laws they were breaking in the process.
“Their greed was their downfall and when they were seen driving around in their super-cars it didn’t take us long to piece together exactly what they were up to and take action. We constantly target networks like this and it doesn’t matter who’s involved, we will seek to use the full weight of the law against them.”
Inspector Tracey McGrath, from the Counter Corruption Unit, said: “The vast majority of West Midlands Police officers and staff are honest, hard-working people who are dedicated to upholding the law and passionate, committed and proud of the work they do.
“But occasionally there are people who disgracefully betray the public and even their own colleagues by exploiting their status for their own gain. Let me reassure people, that my counter corruption team are on to people like Iqbal and there’s nowhere for them to hide.
“Where officers and staff fall short of the standards we expect, we will always take action. In this case we’ll be looking to seize all the assets Iqbal acquired as a result of his criminal activity and his police pension too.”